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The negative is always there for us—always waiting and ready to become all-encompassing. The brave thing is to fight it and choose to be kind. We must be kind, even on our darkest days, otherwise, we are duplicating and celebrating those who were never kind to us. We are letting their poison move freely through the world.

We must risk everything. We must kill cynicism where it stands.

We must especially be kind to people different than us (sociopaths don’t apply). We seem to have forgotten this one lately.

No one is without fear, but there are a few avatars who move through it like fog or clouds. The world doesn’t end past what they can see or understand. I’m watching a couple of my closest loved ones show me how it’s done right now. They are taking hits I can’t even imagine, and they are standing tall with their faces right out in the storm. I can’t fix any of it for them, and that drives me insane. But I can watch and learn their strength and hope to be strong for those I love and those who love me back. To move through fear and doubt and cynicism. It might be the most important thing we can bring to this insane and beautiful world right now.

Love is the only order I know of in all of this chaos. And the only way to get to that love is keeping hope and optimism alive. Sounding like a fortune cookie makes it no less true.

Not the platitudes/bumper sticker kind of optimism, but the white-light sheer force of will. You can’t bottle it. There would be no price high enough. To dig in our heels. To smile when we are dying inside. To keep searching when it seems all doors are closed to us. There is almost always another way. Another path, another shot to take.

It’s easy to dismiss people who are optimistic and excited. So much of this world has been reduced to someone selling us something every single second of the day. A constant agenda. It seems cooler to be above it all —removed and unaffected. I get it. I always feel a little less-than when I get around someone who seems like nothing matters to them. Like their apathy somehow makes them tough. Like it’s too much effort to be a part of anyone else’s joy. As if people who chose to be kind or positive don’t have strength or tenacity under the surface. I’ve met some folks who have been through living hell and back a few times over, and they smile with a depth that no one without struggle could begin to understand. These rare souls are moving through pain with hope, knowing there is no way to ever fully avoid the darkness. Fearless, honest punches. We are playing the long game here, and every day we hopefully get just a little less afraid and a little more who we are.

I’m choosing to be optimistic even when it feels like the wheels are coming off. What choice do I have? I will not stop, and I will not lie down.

Everyone deals with so much that we can never understand. Things that will never seem fair, no matter what spin we put on them. The cruelness of this world will keep on coming. That might be the only guarantee we get. But I will work harder. I will give more, and I will be more kind. I won’t let negativity consume me. At all costs, I will work to fully become myself. To respect what I can build and create—for myself and everyone I love.

Lucky to get to record all day today. Time to turn off the phone and computer and go light some strings on fire. Love you suckers. Let’s keep on humming along.


Gooding writes a new post every Wednesday. Please like and subscribe on all social media sites with @goodingmusic. You can also subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed at http://goodingmusic.com/blog/feed/.

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