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Naysayers or Cheerleaders?

January 2, 2013

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, there was a cheerleader. Yes, I was. Only for one year, though. My last year of High School. I got talked into trying out for the squad by my cheerleader friends. I had been on teams, in sports and many other things, but, what the heck, for various reasons, I thought it would be fun to be a cheerleader with those friends that one last year. Go out with a bang, and some cheers! And I would get into all the games for free. It seemed a good trade, and why not? So I jumped in and did it. It wasn’t quite what I had expected. I can’t say I loved it. After a while I actually regretted having gotten on the squad. I considered quitting. But I wasn’t the quitter type. I wasn’t exactly the cheerleader type either. In various ways,the pom poms didn’t perfectly suit. At least that’s what I thought way back then.

But I’ve been thinking about cheerleading more lately, and I’ve been realizing that I actually am a born cheerleader. A life cheerleader. As a mom, I did my best to focus on complimenting, encouraging and cheering on, instead of criticizing. It wasn’t just that I had read books and articles about emphasizing the positive instead of the negative when it came to parenting, I had grown up with more criticism than was good for me. I had my own personal scars from too much criticism. I had worked hard to overcome those handicaps. I didn’t want to do that to anybody, and more especially, anybody who I cared so much about. Thus I chose to do my best to be a cheery cheerleader type of parent and friend. I even cheer on strangers out of habit. I can’t help cheerleading people. I am a habitual complimenter. Sincere compliments, of course. I’m no liar. It’s usually easy to find something honestly nice to say with a smile to cheer somebody up. Why not pass on some good cheer and smiles? One small light adds a little brilliance in this sometimes darker world. Like a candle in the dark.

I particularly find my inner cheerleader spontaneously cheering when somebody is pursuing their dream, trying something new, trying to better themselves. I can’t help but say ‘you go girl’ and ‘attaboy’ kinds of things. I find happiness in knowing somebody believes in themselves and is going to do something to make a difference, and I simply instinctively want to encourage ‘being your best’ in anybody. ‘Go for it! You can do it!’ I love to cheer people on in good things.

This all reminds me of anybody who would naysay for no good reason. Why do some people do that? Why are some individuals inherently critical? It doesn’t do anybody any good to be a downer on their dreams and worthy goals. In fact, I’ve often wondered how many people have been naysayed out of improving themselves in some way, or climbing worthwhile mountains. What possible good things in this world have been squelched by naysayers? Too many. How sad. Naysayers cause detrimental impact on surrounding lives. The naysayer leaves a damaging wake behind them. A naysayer’s words, looks and actions do great harm overall. Boo, hiss, to naysaying!

Naysaying is nothing but negative. Negativity is like poison. On the other, positively happy hand, positivity is like a nutrient. Positivity lifts and nourishes. It’s a positive versus negative thing. I choose the positive and want to block the negative. This past year, I’ve really been trying more than ever to crowd out the negatives with positives in my life. Nature abhors a vacuum. A stage must be filled. This is why I try to fill my life with positives and push out the negatives. Sometimes this means avoiding the naysayers that surround us in life. You’ve got to keep naysayers at bay. Disregard their negativity. And, don’t be a naysayer yourself. Do be a cheerleader. Encourage others to do the same.

I’m postulating here that the true meaning of a cheerleader, is to cheer others on. When faced with an opportunity to naysay or cheerlead, I choose to cheer every time. I tend to just do it without thinking, actually. And you know, whenever you are bombarded by naysayers, you might have to simply be your own best cheerleader. Cheer yourself on if nobody else will. And, to those who are life cheerleaders cheering others on, I say: at least three cheery Happy New Years cheerleading cheers for you! Now, go get a Princess cheer from one of my daughters: here!

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