Countering Negativity With Grace

Oh, how easy it is to be negative, to derive meaning through complaint and pessimism. Perhaps even easier is responding to such behavior with ever more negativity. You think that’s stupid?!? Well, you are the one who’s stupid!!! And on and on it goes: an endless cycle where positions harden in confrontation with contrary perspectives.

But of course this makes sense. For who would actually change his/her mind while being called “stupid”? Even if that word is never uttered, it’s the undercurrent of all the negativity. Only an idiot would see it differently.

Fortunately, there is a way to end this unproductive cycle. That way is grace. It’s downright magical in its ability to deescalate negativity and make people feel heard. Only then can any sort of productive conversation occur; one where, perhaps, the pessimism can be flipped to something better.

You already know all of this. After all, it would have been quite reasonable, inevitable even, to become jaded as decades of healthcare annoyances accumulated and to look at a younger version of yourself as naive for ever believing in change and progress. You, though, clearly did not take this path. And boy, when I think of what counts for “inspiration,” I struggle to come up with better examples than your ability to not only exhibit grace, but to then back it up with authentic, joyful conviction that hard problems can be solved.

For that, I am grateful.

Thanks for making the July 4th weekend far more significant than it would have been otherwise.