Remember "The Rocket" and his huge paycheck? Well, he's fixing to start earning that paycheck. Feisty Clemens (ie: Roger Clemens, "The Rocket") is returning to the Yankees and what is it that got him to the place he is today besides blood, sweat, tears, hard work, grueling hours?
Seems to be the Power of Positive thinking.
"Clemens ended his press conference by pounding the table and walking off when he was asked by a local reporter about some of the negative things that have been written about his comeback. In reality, there hasn't been a lot of negative press, but it seemed to strike a chord with Clemens.
"If you want to be negative, be negative -- I'm not a negative person," he said. "You be negative as much as you want. If I stink and I don't pitch well out there, I know I stink. I don't need you tell me that.
"I have pride in what I do. I'll pull my heart out and set it right there for you to see it. I got that from my mother, so if you want to write and these other people want to write negative . . . everything has to be negative these days.
"I've always been positive in my life. It won't end. I don't want to be around negative people. So I won't associate myself with those people. So if it makes you feel good to write negative stuff, then go ahead, but you've never been in the arena.
"People read your column and associate things with me that are not true. I'll answer it as honestly as I can so that 10-year-old, when he reads about it, won't assume things. You can tell how passionate I am about it. OK?"
Roger. Over and out."
(Read the rest at Boston.com)
(Photo courtesy of David Kidwell -- AP Photo)
Ah, sports and passion. Nothing quite like it.
Makes you think, huh. What do you have to say about negativity. I hope you'll let me know in the comment's section. What do I have to say about negativity? A couple of things actually because I know a thing or two about negativity and because, well, this is my notepad, isn't it.
As much as I hate to admit it, I was raised around a good bit of negativity. And I don't think my family even realized they were being negative and, if they did, they thought they were doing it for my own good.
How so, you ask? Well, they didn't want me to think the world was all grapes and plums. There's a couple of raisins and prunes lurking on the tree of life as well. And there are definitely too many nuts out there. But I don't think anyone branded the label "negativity" on me on purpose. My family wanted me to see the world as it really was.
Look at reality, child. Life is not a pretty picture. It's not a nice storybook.
Life is hard! Try getting your applesauce taken away from you and being chased out of the garden by a swarm of mosquitoes and see if you aren't crying like a baby.
Life is brutal.
And I looked at reality as it was presented before me and decided that one has to be sceptical to survive. And, for the most part, sceptism has kept me on the straight and narrow path and I've survived nicely.
I believe there are more pessimistic people in the world than optimistic ones. If that were not so, those rag magazines with all the elite of Hollywood hanging out their laundry to air wouldn't stay in existence for a day. But, as it is, those tabloids are snatched off the shelves quicker than the candy next to them. Who's the real child here?
Of course family doesn't intentionally do this to you. I'm a mother. I know. Temperment plays a huge role in the way we respond to people, things, and events around us. I would never intentionally teach my children to live in fear and doubt. Negativity be scorned! I want to empower my children. I want to give them courage. I want them to have the will to succeed in whatever they feel themselves capable of doing...and then some.
So how do we do this? By teaching them the Power of Positive thinking, of course. Short answer. Tall order. By teaching them to look at the swimming pool as being half empty instead of half full. By teaching them to make candles out of broken pieces of crayon. By teaching them to look for the good...always the good.
And I already hear some pessimistics growling under their breath and mumbling, "Get real, Girly. Look at reality. It's not a pretty picture. I'm not swimming in the pool unless it's completely empty. Open your eyes. Life is harsh. Life is brutal. Why floss over it? My crayon is broken. My crayons always break. Whah!"
Yada. Yada. Yada.
And I say that we don't have to "teach" our children this reality. If anyone is being unrealistic, it's the person waiting for the swimming pool to empty out. That will never happen and you'll be the one sitting in the steaming sunshine with sweat running down your back and your glass empty cause you didn't take those lemons you were given and turn it into lemonade.
Reality is in-our-face already. Our children learn how harsh the world is with the first wet diaper stuck to their behind. They learn hunger almost immediately when they have to wait for Mommy to pick them out of the crib, get the older sibling a drink of juice, find her water, turn off the oven, and get settled in her comfortable chair. They learn unfairness on the playground when they are the last person picked for the team. They learn that the world does not revolve around them when their sister's stem blooms forth three buds and their stem spouts none.
See what I mean?
While we want to empower our children with a realistic frame of mind so that they live a long, happy, full life; what we need to teach them is how to be positive even if they're, by nature, pessimistic. What we have to teach them...what we must teach them... is what to do when their grapes turn into raisins, their plums turn into prunes, and the swimming pool is never empy. Because it will happen.
I didn't start out always looking at the bright side but I learned it through the years. Children teach you that. A negative child teaches it to you even more. You see the downfall of man in a negative person. You see the selfishness and the hopelessness of it all. And you realize that, at least for these little people, you must be upbeat and positive even if you know how they're feeling inside. One simply can't crawl under the sheets and have a personal pity-party when there are little people in need of your courage, your strength, and your optimism.
Optimistic people are, in fact, few and far between and when we meet one we want to be like them or, at least, around them because they radiate self-confidence, assurance, and contentment. Sometimes they also seem to be arrogant, overbearing, and full of themselves...at least that's how negative people view them. But, be careful, cause this isn't the definition of optimism but the definition of pride which, come to think of it, is as revolting as pessimism.
I try to be positive on a daily basis. I'm not sure if I succeed or not. My children may disagree in a heartbeat because they hear the constant:
- "Be careful, honey."
- "Are you feeling okay, honey?"
- "You better have that checked out, honey."
- "Don't say you can't. You can do it. I know you can."
- "What's your new friend's name? Who's his parents? Where do they live?"
- "Do you think that's a good idea?"
Children are quick, quick, quick to pick up the negativity in our voice. They sense the pessimism in our gestures and facial expressions. Our worry is rated on an invisible radar screen and projected back to us in the scowl between our children's eyes.
Perhaps children pick-up the tone of concern and worry and fear and equate that into negativity; but times, events, and other people change one's view of their rags and the world's underwear at large.
Some people might also be construed as negative and, in fact, be more cautiously paranoid of life. They live in fear that something will happen. A holy pastor, Fr. Joseph Decoteau, M.S., once told a friend of mine that about 95% of what we fear will happen to us, never does. Hmmm. That's something to think about.
Of course, the pessimist among us is thinking, "Yeah, but I'm watching out for that other 5%. I'll be ready."
No they won't. No they won't. It---whatever it is---will happen to them when they least expect it. I know so. Murphy's Law says so. Rather than enjoying the other 95% of life, they will be watching for that 5% that will fly right by without giving them the time of day. And the day will be wasted. Because you know...life happens. Stuff will happen. Forrest Gump taught us that. And you have to keep on running.
We really don't have any control over what's going to happen to us. None of us wake up in the morning thinking, I'm going to go outside today and see if a bird poops on my head; but so many of us live like that...always looking over our head for that albatross bird in flight, wondering whether we should bring it down and risk our luck, and checking our shoulder for that fateful black smear upon our sleeve.
Fear and worry is a sinister spider subtly weaving its deceptive web in a corner. No one realizes it's there and no one approaches it because it looks like an illusion; but it's real and can dull the life from a room and snuff out the light to succeed. It sticks so thickly to the mind and soul and will that its threads are difficult to remove and, even when removed, tends to come off in sticky bits and pieces that cling like an adhesive to the one trying to help get it off. If a child runs into too many webs of negativity throughout his life, the removal is almost impossible, in part because no one desires to help him. They clearly don't want to be around him. He might still have the spider on him.
And spiders bite.
Fear is never an enabler. Remember that. Fear could have kept Christ off the cross. But, despite the brutality and ugliness and utter lack of hope found in the Crucifixion, we are beckoned to rise above scepticism, negativity, fear, and hate and focus on the Resurrection. What an awesome reality that is. What hope!
So what can we do as parents to caution, advise, guide our children in the reality of this life without dampening their spirit and allowing negativity to rear its ugly head?
That's clearly for another post.