Today was another successful day with the family. This time I went north to meet up with my cousins from my mother’s side. It was a good reunion but somewhat short. Nonetheless, it was at this time that I experienced, for the first time, a negative response to my trip.
Usually, one is happy to take a step forward and to go through with their dreams. In this state of euphoria we believe that everyone else is on board with our success and our go-getting attitude, but the reality is that not everybody is happy for you. Some people will pretend to be happy for you, others (like today) will just straight up and say it.
The situation was not of hostility but of passive-aggressiveness. At a random point in my day I was asked why I was so bent on travelling every day and meeting up with friends, to which I replied that I did not know when I’ll be back and I would love to make new memories and relive old ones in the last few days I have left. This, without a warning, ensued from the other person a train of snide words with an aggressive undertone. Said person’s response though not actively, had actually shifted to attack on my desire to keep my ties and memories with my Island. This may seem weird but it is a mechanism that is often used by people who could not or did not find the way to reach their potential. Their intent on attacking my beliefs and desires stems from their desire to destroy what helps me continue or what builds me; this way they will transform me to what they have become, a bitter person.
This whole encounter just flipped me into a 180, leaving me dumbfounded. Out of respect I did not return the attack but rather told them that was my way of life, I liked it and that their permission was not needed though their opinion was appreciated. I believe we all encounter people who want to pull us down and excrement on our hopes and dreams; I was lucky and unlucky enough of not receiving this type of negativism until now. Lucky, because it gave me more wind beneath my wing and unlucky because I was completely unprepared for what happened today.
Negativity is essential for our struggles because it build us, it makes us more determined. It is this negative attitude that drives us to continue and prove all those people wrong. However, too much negative force can pulverize us and our dreams. It can take away our life force and our desire to continue. Now, as explained in my example, the lack of negativity in your life can also be a bad thing. When you don’t know what the other side of the coin looks like you don’t know how much it is worth in your life. Thus, the lack of negativity can harm your esteem. If you’re only fed good things, small bad things can seem like a big deal when it isn’t. This sudden negative comment hurt me not just because it showed the pettiness of someone I love but also because it shows how far people will go to hurt you.
It is for this reason that we need to surround us with people who have similar dreams as ours. More than that, we should not turn into that Negative Nancy that kills the dreams of others. As ‘Fighting Dreamers’ (yes, Naruto), we need to support the dreams of others. We need to be able to build other’s dreams by supporting them as they have supported us. This does not mean that we make their dreams happen or that we choose their dreams for them but rather add water to that plant and hope it becomes a stable tree. A positive comment, constructive criticism, a high-five, a pat in the back; all these things are small gestures that pave a long and strong road to the future.
Reader, fear not the negative. Embrace all the good and the bad that you will encounter in your path; it will only serve to make you stronger. When the sun is shining, enjoy it because it won’t last forever. And when it’s raining, remember that the sun will shine tomorrow. Your dream should always be your goal to reach. Changes will be made; obstacles will appear but never cease to fight for what you want. As one teacher once told me, “History books only talk about the brave and willing.” So be brave! Be willing! There are more people who did not make it than those who made it; and you’re just one more person that will make it if you work for it.