Whatever Happened to Accentuate The Positive?

johnny mercerI’m not Political. Let me just begin by saying that.

Now, having uttered that statement in an intense election year is not meant to imply that I don’t care about politics and the political arena. I care. Deeply.

What frustrates and discourages me in this election/primary year is the constant need to undermine … the constant decision to tear people down and rely on destructive tactics to raise another up.

Would it be so difficult to tell me what You are going to do for me and this country instead of relying on the cheaper ploy of criticism tearing apart the opponent? I don’t care what they didn’t do or what you think they won’t do. I don’t want rumors or gossip. I don’t want mud-slinging.

I just care what You plan to do so I can compare it with what THEY plan to do. Just the facts, please. But that’s not how it works, is it? We tear others down in an effort to foist our own viewpoint to the top. To the victor go the spoils and those we hurt along the way are unfortunate casualties of war.

I see a lot of it. I hear a lot of it. And it’s not just in political ads or debates or shown in blatantly inflammatory Facebook Posts and Feeds. It seeps into every aspect of life …

Why is it so much harder to Shine than Undermine?

Does it make us feel more significant to throw unkind or even cruel remarks and criticism at others? Does it help us rise to the cream of the crop by condemning others’ choices, actions or viewpoints?

This Undermining runs rampant now, with primaries and political commercials.

But it’s not just there … it bleeds into our very culture. It’s how we make ourselves feel good about ourselves. We’re so much better than so and so. So and so got the job but they only got it because they knew the owner. We lost the gig but it couldn’t have been a talent thing since so and so is a jerk (or whatever descriptive word fits for the scenario) and we were better for so many reasons. Choose me — I’m so much skinnier or prettier or smarter or (fill in the blank) than so and so. We didn’t get the mortgage because so and so doesn’t know what they are doing.

And so on and so on and so on.

We have so many things to say about others that tear them down. We may say it loudly or whisper it behind their back and out of their hearing. We place ourselves up on that pedestal — a pedestal built on the broken backs of those we deem inferior to us.

It’s loud now, this Negativity. This Critical, Comdemning Behavior. This … dare I say it … Unkindness.

If I earn something … if you vote for me … if you cast me … if you follow my Blog … if you Friend me … if you go out for dinner with me, I want you to choose to do so solely based on what I offer, present, say or do … not because you want to hurt or negatively impact someone else. Like me and what I offer for me … not to hurt or belittle another.

Choose to be with me based on what I bring to the table or walk away. Vote for me for me, or vote another way. I want to know the choice you make is not because of someone else or whispers in your ear … but because it is what you decide you want to do … or be … or whatever. I want a Clean Battle and the Best Candidate to Win.

Whatever happened to the idea of winning based on our own merit versus the failings of someone else?

There’s a song Hayden Panetierre sang in the first season of the TV show Nashville: “It’s all talk, talk, talk Talkin’ in the wind / It only slows you down if you start listenin’ / And it’s a whole lot harder to shine than undermine.”

Too bad … that.

I think we should start listening instead to wise Johnny Mercer and his 1940s hit Accentuate The Positive. Pretty simple guidelines:  You’ve got to accentuate the positive / Eliminate the negative / Latch on to the affirmative / Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.

I choose to Shine. What do YOU Choose?

— Jenni



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