Look, Find, Enjoy…Smile

At the risk of sounding too much like Martin Luther King Jr., I had a dream this week.  That’s not in and of itself too amazing but I don’t normally remember my dreams.  This one, however, I HAD to remember.  In fact, I woke up in the middle of the night and made a very concerted effort to remember what had happened in my dream:

I was walking around in a crowded area, where everyone was visibly down and depressed.  They were all telling “their story” but each and every story was a lamentation of all the hard and tough things in their life.  It was a sad place to be, no one was happy and I can remember having a feeling of being “sucked into” the sadness.  

But then…I’m not sure where he came from, but a man arrived.  He was playing music, basically a one man band.  I can’t visualize the details of what he looked like any more but I distinctly recall comparing him to Bert (Dick Van Dyke’s character in Mary Poppins).  Anyway, this man came into the crowded area and began to offer storytelling services to people.  When he started telling these people’s stories for them, however, the mood immediately began to change.  They weren’t sad stories any longer but rather positive, uplifting versions of “their story” that focused on the happy times instead of the sad.  People were happy and the overall mood of the crowd did a complete 180, it was now festive and positive.

And then I woke up.  It was the middle of the night but I forced myself to lay there and contemplate this dream for a while.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not much of a dream analyst, but this dream hit me hard for some reason.  As I lay there trying to remember this dream and figure out what it all might have meant, it struck me just how inspirational this man was.  He looked not at the sadness and despair but rather at the good and positive inside of people.  The same lives went from sad to happy just by changing the focus.

I don’t know where this dream came from and I can promise you I haven’t seen Mary Poppins in a very long time (although I think I need to go back and watch it now, classic!) so I don’t think this dream came from a subconscious desire to watch a movie from 1964.  

I do know this though, it’s been a very long first semester and we’ve certainly experienced some major ups and downs.  For many of us it is easier to focus on the negative, especially when we are tired and worn down.  I’ve got a feeling that something deep inside my mind was trying to remind me that focusing on the positive is the key to happiness and success.  

As our students hit a high stress period of deadlines, exams, and overall fatigue we need to remember that, not only for ourselves but for them too, positivity is powerful.  If you haven’t watched the video from the link above I recommend doing so now.  While you’re at it, if you have the time, perhaps the best part of the movie:  Step in Time. (A great reminder that ANYONE can have fun, even at their job!!)

Bring the positivity, look for it if it isn’t there, I promise in a room full of teenagers there is at least a little bit lying around…and when in doubt, smile 🙂

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