Negativity Feed

sometimes it all goes wrong


Sometimes it all goes wrong and yesterday it did.

Maybe the above statement is a touch melodramatic, but the late afternoon was certainly not very pleasant.

On afternoons like this, I really struggle as a father.

I struggle because there is no manual.

There is no system to follow.

Every situation is never the same. You can’t easily untie yourself from your emotions. You can’t predict the sudden change in behaviour. You are always on. Always parenting without rest, and doing your best to teach you children something meaningful. Thats the whole point of it. To leave them better. To give them hope. To arm them and unleash them on the world. To spare our your own insecurities and hang ups.

It has been a struggle lately not to argue with my eight and six year old. Mostly my eight year old, but the six year old has fallen into the habit of following her brother into the wilderness as well.

I will spare you the details because I would never embarrass my children.

It’s never right to tell one side of the story.

But I can tell you that in a state of frustration and exhaustion I just gave up.

By doing so my mind was instantly flooded with self deprecating remarks and stinging words that felt like they have been anxious to get out for a very long time.

I wanted to give up being a parent. Thinking that deep down nothing I do matters. My words and life serves no real purpose. That someone else would do a better job. Is more qualified. Would be more patient. More loving. More understanding.

I felt like a piece of shit, but looking back I am amazed that I didn’t call myself one. I am pretty amazed that my negative tirade was not laced with any spicy words. That’s certainly different than before. A sign of hope, I imagine. A sign of growth?

Earlier, I was working on an article I am submitting to the CBC in hopes of winning the non-fiction contest, but mostly to honour my commitment to myself, and see what happens.

At that moment I thought none of what I ever written truly mattered.

I thought that they were empty words, sad attempts at attention seeking. Valueless collection of nouns and verbs with no purpose and little direction.

I wanted to give up everything.

Parenting. Writing. Speaking. Teaching.


But I didn’t.

I took a deep breath. Did what still had to be done Went through the usual bedtime routine and decided to call it a day and read myself to sleep.

As I was walking upstairs. I noticed that my son’s light was still on. He was reading. We both knew this wasn’t a good day for either of us.

I opened the door and called out his name. He turned himself around, put his book down and looked at me, a little bit concerned.

I looked at him for a brief moment. I smiled and told him I loved him.

Thats what I wanted him to remember about yesterday.

That is what I wanted to remind myself and go to sleep with.

I don’t think we can ever stop the sewer system of our mind to keep producing waste. I also don’t think that there won’t be any more days like this. But I do believe that there is hope in everything. There is an opportunity to renew who we are.

We don’t have to become victim of our shining thoughts.

We can let them die down and get back to loving and living.


false humility


You’re as humble as they come. Humble to a fault. But at least you’re not like those other people, who are thumbing their way into heaven.

You’re different.


A realist.

Prone to sudden and unexpected gusts of optimism. Rare indeed, I agree, this optimism of yours, but with all the talk about climate change these days, how could you be any different?

You take great pride in knowing the truth. In understanding the world for what it is and as it happens. Unflavoured. Unseasoned. Just as it is.

You won’t listen to anyone. Because you already know.

You know exactly why you’re so miserable. Unsuccessful. Always tired. Pushing that heavy rock up the mountain.

You learned a long time ago that people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They’re just lucky. They’ve been given all the breaks. Given all their talents, while you were left wanting.



And they those people have armed themselves with a cunning ability to lie and seduce others, in order to get their way. To get what they want and couldn’t possibly deserve.

You’re different.

You won’t stoop to their level. You know you’re worth.

Your false humility won’t let you see the world the way others see it.

You’ve struggled. You’ve overcome much. You paid your dues. Faced adversity head on. Kicked life right in the balls.

You deserve so much more. So much more.

You can’t understand why things haven’t worked out. Why you’re not rich and famous. Why people are constantly blind to your genius and your ingenuity.

This baffles you. Frustrates you. Angers you, if we may be honest.

But through it all, you remain your quiet, hidden. Your best humble self.

And for what?

Is it worth holding on and dying with your illusions?

Is it important to be right?

To refuse to accept change?

You’re so afraid to fail.  You fear your future and you cry yourself to sleep, as you look back and can’t help but regret the past.

If you don’t mind me saying. Your ass is so wound up so tight, that with a decent lump of coal, and in a few unspoken minutes, you’re able to produce the world’s purest diamond.

You have so much potential.

So much knowledge.

You’re endowed with so much inner and outer beauty and grace. So much life and love yet to give, yet you abandoned your dreams long ago, by the side of the road, like a smoked, unwanted, discarded cigarette.

You need some divine arrogance in your life.

You need some pride.

This false sense of humility that you wear like a mask, disguising your unseen pride, will only lead you to an early grave. Long before it’s your time. Unnecessarily. Sadly. You will die of a broken heart.

It’s time that you sing your song. Write your verse. Bake that fresh batch of raisin oatmeal cookies.


Forget your humility.

Embrace your humanity.

Fill your mornings with dreams. Abandon yourself at midday to your plans. Spend the night learning and making mistakes, while you ponder how this all fits together.

There is a place in this world for all of us. There is a need for all of us.

We are an insignificant speck of dust, but an imperative grain of a vast desert.

Don’t waste your energy, proving the false reality, you refuse to let go.

It hasn’t served you well.

Stand in arrogance, and dare to be, who you once dreamed to be.


human leeches


Beware of human leeches!

Because they are dangerous and hungry. No matter of the time of year.

They grow restless often. They are tireless, so give this warning some thought, and let it become, your official happiness safety alert.


The people in your life, want to steal your time. Steal your enthusiasm. Sap your generosity. Abscond with your joy, and flee with your smile.

Stay alert.

Guard yourself against their misguided blood sucking traps.

Avoid them at all costs, if you can, but if you can’t, limit the time you let them cling to your skin.

I don’t believe that they consciously mean us harm. I think we vet our friends and colleagues well. We’re not blind or stupid. We’re not ignorant, or extend our friendship too. We don’t share ourselves with just anyone, so I think, for the most part, we’re very good at who we spend our time with. That doesn’t seem to be the issue.

The problem is, that most people have a habit of looking for and creating problems in their life. If they don’t see any, they invent them. They design new problems. Create immediate concerns. Entangle themselves in seemingly unsolvable dilemmas.

And they want you by their side. Their Doctor Watson, as they resume their role as Sherlock Holmes.

They want your blood.

They want it, and they will seduce you to help them.

It only takes a handful of innocent little questions or prompts, and you will suddenly find yourself involved, in helping them solve their self-made and often only imagined crisis.

They are not malicious, but swimming with them, and their problems, definitely is.

If you stay in that stale water for too long, or choose to swim in that river too often, you will grow weak, tired, and become colourless. You will take on problems, and make them your own. Problems that pose you no concern. Issues you will soon lose sleep over, but have no conceivable ability to ever hope to solve.

It’s a serious problem.

You have to protect yourself against these human leeches. They have a tendency hang on tight. They have a bad habit of seeking you out.

You need to treat them as you would a dead-end road. The sooner you turn back, the more time you can hope to redeem.

You can’t ignore them. That’s an unrealistic solution.

They are in your life for a reason. They are not bad people. They simply find a way to suck the energy and life out of your very existence.

You need to get them off your skin, for your sake, and their own.

Perhaps you need to find somewhere else to be. Eat lunch alone. Arrive late. Leave early. Bring work home.

Try to keep your answers short. Your temper long. Respect yourself and your time. Stay away from them, without being transparent.

Don’t engage their drams, it all too often only leads to gossip and misunderstanding.

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, either.

Sometimes you need to tell them exactly how you feel. Don’t be afraid to offend them. Don’t be afraid of letting them know that their concerns, are not your own.

Burning off the human leeches won’t be easy, but if you don’t, your state of mind will be worse. You’ll drown, in their pool of water.

Your life gives you plenty of concern. You have plenty of problems that challenge you to grow.

You don’t need any more.

Especially those shameful, dangling little blood suckers, that have no business being there in the first place.

Beware the dead-end street.

Check your body for leeches.


it's easier to have hope when you're not about to crash


Human beings are meant to fly.

We are meant to be happy and live meaningful lives, and not content to remain miserable or malcontent.

We are people of hope.

A nation of faith, and boy, do we need some right now, at this very moment. In this seemingly stifling time of darkness.

We all need it. We crave it. Every single one of us.

The whole world thirsts for hope. A divine reassurance that everything will be fine.

In every crevice and in every broken or shattered heart, exists a yearning for a meaningful life, for something different, for something better.

But why do we wait? Why do we wait so long for hope?

Why do we only look for hope when we’ve lost all ability to fly, and are about to crash into the ocean?

It is foolish to rely solely on the benevolence of magical fairies or angels to swoop down and keep as aloft.

But they get tired and frustrated too.

So, we need a bit more hope, a little more often, before things become hopeless.

You must embrace your humanity and believe in hope.

Being human and being alive is not curse.

Hope calls to you.


She is read and available to anyone that looks for her.

Hope is available anytime, but not in the few minutes before you panic and put on an exhaustible freak show. With your perpetual and uncomfortable rubbing of your hands, your screams of incoherent self-loathing, and the tears of misguided emotions. The tapping of your hand upon your head, the sudden movements, and the triumphant donning of your tinfoil hat.

This doesn’t account for the ill-timed wishful thinking you cling to, or the desperate prayers you mouth, that you hope will somehow conjure up the fairies and angels to make everything better again.

Things don’t just get better.

Hope is not a thing.

It is a daily practice.

Hope is just for the hopeless.

You should embrace hope every day.

She’ll walk with you when you stop gossiping and ripping people down.

She’ll find you, when you immerse yourself in a good book, or a thought provoking lecture.

She will hold you when you create art, or do something kind for someone.

She will remind you of your greatness, when you find yourself sitting alone, praying for the most vulnerable, the abandoned, and the imprisoned.

Of course, it is a lot easier to find hope when you are not about to crash.

Keep a daily journal of all the things you are grateful for. The things that went right. The people who are in your life.

Make a list. A simple list. You’re not writing a memoir. So, list five, or ten, or fifteen things that you are grateful for each day.

If you can’t find them, brace yourself for impact.

Write someone a thank you note. Perhaps a love letter. Or a script of gratitude that will become a sign of hope for their life.

Avoid negative thoughts.

Embrace positive people.

Seek them out.

Nag and beg them to stay. Chain yourself to their pant leg and refuse to let them go. Be persistent, until you are handed a restraining order, then let go.

If you do this, you’ll soon discover that people of hope are everywhere. There is no reason to beg them to stay. There is no reason for chains, and certainly no need for restraining orders.

Hopeful people surround us. They are everywhere. 

We don’t see them because sometimes, we are too busy flying and crashing. Not to mention the enormous effort it takes us to recover our wreck.

Believe in hope.

She believes in you.

Seek, and you will find.

Seek hope today, and you’ll become a source of comfort for the comfortless. You will be a light in the darkness.

You’ll save others from needlessly crashing into the ocean.


staying afloat in society's negative sewer system



A glorious new day. A beautiful new beginning. A new promise. A possibility of a new life.

I won’t lie to you, that I don’t approach my Monday’s with a little bit of pragmatic caution, or my Friday’s with a little bit of hopeful optimism. I admit that I am as susceptible as anyone else, to be negative and pessimistic sewer system I’ve grown up in.

It’s easy.

The whole society is just a big waste disposal system. We are lucky to get to navigate it, and try to stay afloat, for as long as we can.

It’s a terrible world out there, they say.

Every newspaper and every television broadcast pontificates the coming of a terrible winter, inevitable conflict, financial ruin, and the latest thing that will inevitably kill you.

People hate Monday’s, but how can you blame them?

They begin each day by waking up their miserable bodies in alarm and grinding out through their morning, so they can show up for work, and go through the motions of efficiency.

They cope by making little, stinging, sarcastic remarks. By rolling their eyes. By complaining. By bitching and whining. They try to uplift their misery by slinging as much human excrement as they can.

And for what?

I’m not really sure.

We all seem to do it. We’ve all done it. We seem destined to continue to do it.

What a waste of a morning. What a waste of a day. What a waste of a life.

Being negative is easy. You just flow with the stream. You don’t resist. You follow blindly, bob up and down, but be prepared to shoulder the burden of the consequences.

Or you can choose to resist.

You can turn off CNN, and let world leaders handle Donald Trump. You can stop reading the daily papers, and let police officers police the streets, and let the firefighters take care of the accidents.

You can turn off the sports radio stations, and not get angry and wrapped up in the argument if Dion Phanuef is truly overpaid, and earning his keep as a top four defender.

You can turn off your television and stop going through people’s storage lockers, listening to them bitch and moan about the perfect wedding dress. You can stop watching people compete for a million dollars, through treasure hunts, and other, seemingly infinite, asinine activities.

You can choose to eat lunch on your own on occasion. Away from the gossip, the complaining, and the stench of misery and failure.

You can surround yourself with good books. You can devour great motivational or educational podcasts. You can listen to inspirational music.

You can choose to spend time with friends who don’t suck the living life out of you, and are genuinely trying to make a difference. They are trying to live meaningful lives, and don’t mind your meaningful company.

You can do a lot to resist, but the question is, do you really want to?

It won’t be easy. It will not happen in one day. It will take persistence. You will experience moments of loneliness. Periods of misunderstanding.

But it will be worth it.

The choice is yours.

Just remember.

You look pretty silly as you trade away five days of the week, for some illusion and blissful anticipation of the weekend.

In the end. You are at least guilty of some terrible math.