Last evening, I met a 30 something Haitian man at a local watering hole. I don’t recall what brought it up, but we had a 30 minute conversation about philosophy. In particular, his philosophy. He drew the diagram above and was explaining that the top is the best life you can live, and the bottom is the worst. The middle depicts rungs of a ladder, and he explained on how our behavior forces us up and down in life. Positivity lifts us up, and negativity brings us down. We can’t escape judgment in this world, and I will admit that I am guilty of judgment and negativity, but maybe it’s best to leave it behind.
He gave a specific example of how at work (he is a sales rep), when someone makes a large sale he is happy for them instead of being judgmental and snarky. He had been judgmental, and wasn’t getting very far, but now that he celebrates other’s accomplishments, he has excelled at his job. Often now after his co-worker makes a sale, he does as well. He believes a positive life pulls everyone up!
It’s like seeing everyone on FB booking theater gigs. A lot of artists I know confess to being bitter and upset every time they go on FB, and then they get judgmental of the other artist’s work or life. I have been in that trap in the past, and it’s crippling. But I owed it to myself and my friends to celebrate their accomplishments, and be positive. Have I mastered this? No, I can slip from time to time, but FB no longer stifles my creativity and lowers my opinion of myself.
The last thing that the man said that really spoke to me was, if you see a homeless woman, or seemingly homeless woman on the street, and she asks you for your last dollar, give it to her. Then tell her how beautiful she is. “Everyone needs to hear that”, he said. “Give her some positivity in her life, and you will elevate her, then in return you will elevate yourself.”
I love living in this city. I love how on one cold winter night, amidst a sea of craziness, a complete stranger can elevate and change your life.