While attending the Positive Education Summit in the UK, I was encouraged by the diversity of thought around positivity, whether or not it was being discussed in the context of education. I’m in favor of lively debates, especially those open to all interested parties. I think that public conversations will increase awareness of, create a common language for and improve the long-term integration of positivity into everyday life.
“What is there to debate?” you might ask. “After all, who would argue against making life more positive?”
Positivity, like good weather, is widely appealing. But putting it into action is hard to do—like predicting good weather. Many people would agree that a life warmed by love and hope, tempered by compassion and forgiveness and enriched by gratitude and purpose is preferred over one that lacks those qualities, but they wouldn’t agree on how those things are defined, taught or measured.
I experienced this phenomenon at the summit. As twenty-some presentations and follow-up Q&A sessions took place over two days, it was clear that different backgrounds, perspectives and agendas, as well as various cultural platforms, economic constraints and governmental structures, were part of each story. Delegates applauded the compelling research, advancements and scenarios, but at the same time, they were thinking, “Would this idea work in our case, in our school, in our country?” Rather than saying “no”, I hope that more thought, “well, maybe.”
At Live Happy, we’re working to increase awareness of how positivity in everyday life can make life better, happier. We are building on what we share in common while opening our minds to thinking bigger, more inclusively. Agreement isn’t always necessary or even preferred, but constant conversation, sharing—and debating are.
How will you increase positivity in lives around you? Let’s start the conversations.