I have known John since we were in preschool, and like all kids, both of us were full of confidence, curiosity and positivity. He has always been a boy full of artistic passion (he loves drawing different designs of clothing using crayons). In fact, his passion of designing made him excel in art class. When he started making bold color choices, the students often made fun of his choices. I always knew that John was seeing ideas which we were not able to visualize, but as the years go by, this difference made John “problematic” in the teachers’ eye. The other kids would also made fun of him. This was John’s first experience of the cruel reality in our world.
I was John’s best friend, or should I say, his only friend throughout our academic years. Through this journey, I saw John change from a bright and confident young boy to a depressed young adult full of self-doubt. He was often bullied by cliques with superficial views in life. His designs also changed from bold colors, to dark colors and colors of what society perceived as “normal”. John was mould by the ideas perceived by the norms set by our society.
John eventually decided to give up on his dream of becoming a fashion designer and decided to conform his genius mind to the mediocre mindset of the majority. He took up accounting in college, and needless to say he did really bad and almost did not obtain his college degree. He landed himself in a small accounting firm and was a mediocre office executive leading a scheduled life defined by his job. He had forgotten his passion and dreams which were shining so brightly when we were in preschool. However, everything changed one fateful day.
John called and told me that he had stage 3 colon cancer and was hospitalized. Choking back tears while I was driving to see him, I decided that he has had enough negativity of this world to be seeing his best friend in tears. I had a flash of idea that he deserved to be exposed to positivity from now on. Putting on my best smile, I visited my best friend. For the first time, we talked freely in the cold hospital ward. We reminisced on our younger days and how he always has the boldest designs in art class., and John’s eyes slowly began to brighten up. It was in this chilly hospital ward that positivity started to creep upon us. I had the sudden realization that life is unpredictable, and time is slowly ticking away from us. Suddenly, John said “Go get me my laptop, I have an idea”.
John resigned from his job, and began to create designs on his laptop. His first few designs were dull, but they subsequently became brighter and more colorful. Perhaps this was a symbolic sign that John was slowly breaking out of the mould which society had set on him. For the first time since preschool, John was smiling brightly. The chemotherapy was making John weak; however, he never fails to maintain his passion and focus on his designs. Apart from the support from his love ones, John’s dream and passion were the anchors that were keeping him so positive and happy. He told me “If I ever survive this, I will pursue my dreams passionately and disregard all the judgements from other people”.
One day, the doctor announced to us that John’s cancer is in remission, and he is able to be discharged from the hospital. We all felt a sense of relief as if weights had been lifted from our shoulders. John looked at me in the eye and said “I’m keeping my promise”.
John embarked on his journey of fashion designing. He created hundreds of designs since his days in the hospital, and was publishing his work online and gaining recognition. His positivity remains strong till this day, and he has created a career for himself based on his passions and dreams. Just like his cancer, his depression has vanished without a trace.
Looking at John, I wonder how he fought his way out of the gloom and into the sunshine. He said “Passions and dreams, they are important”, and showed me this little notebook of his where he scribbled words of wisdom on how he maintained his positivity in the face of adversity and uncertainty during his time in the hospital. Indeed, passions and dreams are important anchors in everyone’s life, and beyond that, people need the discipline and awareness to embrace positivity in the world where negativity is in abundance.
Positivity is important in our society, and it takes time and effort to be positive. Over at Sam Shoppers™, our vision is to create a better world for our current and future generation. Check out our eBook: Quick and Short Guide on: Importance of Positivity for more information and methods on positivity!
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