Living in South Florida, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, negative thoughts have been swarming my mind. As human beings, we tend to focus on the negative things in life. This is known as Negative Bias, a concept in psychology where individuals tend to register negative thoughts and actions and dwell on them longer. Because I was focusing on the negative things currently going on with life and not the positive ones, I had moments of anxiety, fear, and despair. I needed to change my focus to a more positive one to be happier.
Here are a few positive events I found to shift my perspective, and, hopefully, they will shift yours too.
1. Shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline
On Monday, July 6, 2020, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down and clear of oil by August 5, 2020, for an environmental review. A victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and environmental activists who have been protesting the pipeline since its announcement in 2014. The pipeline transports 570,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. However, if the pipeline were to leak, the contamination would ruin the main water supply for the tribe. The shutdown is only temporary, but it is a start to doing right by the indigenous individuals of this country.
2. High School renamed in honor of Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis
On Thursday, July 23, 2020, the Fairfax County School Board, in Springfield, Virginia, unanimously voted to rename a high school named after a confederate war general to John R. Lewis High school. This renaming is in honor of the prominent civil rights leader and Georgia representative who recently passed away from Pancreatic Cancer on July 17, 2020. Rep. Lewis was at the forefront of the civil rights movement, leading marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. After they crossed the bridge, they were brutally assaulted. Footage of the attack spread, shocking the nation and gaining support for the movement. He was one of the last surviving members of the "Big Six," six leaders in prominent civil rights organizations who organized the March on Washington. He fought for racial equality, his entire life, a legacy that is still relevant today.
3. Hanes' campaign to reduce the stress of COVID 19 for those experiencing homelessness
Hanes, the American clothing company, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, recently started a campaign to help alleviate the stress of Covid-19 on those experiencing homelessness. The CDC states that masks are the best way to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. Hanes' new campaign, #MaskAround, challenges individuals to willingly wear a mask while in public. In an effort to make sure everyone has a mask, the company has pledged to donate over one million masks to non-profit organizations that assist those affected by homelessness all over the country, especially in COVID-19 Hotspots.
4. Conversion therapy banned in Mexico City
On Friday, July 24, 2020, Mexico City's lawmakers passed a law criminalizing gay conversion therapy- a therapy used to "correct" an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. Subjecting practitioners to a maximum sentence of five years, with a higher penalty for those who submit children to this unethical and dangerous practice. Conversion therapy is based on the false belief that being LGBTQ is a mental disorder that can be "cured" through psychological, physiological, and spiritual techniques. Techniques such as electroshock therapy and nausea-inducing drugs. Banning this practice in Mexico's capital, the first region to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009, is a significant step for the rights of the LGBTQ community.
5. One Direction's 10-year anniversary
One Direction is a boyband formed by Simon Cowell in 2010 during an episode of "The X Factor." For the past few, the ex-group members, who split to pursue solo careers in 2016, have been teasing a surprise to be revealed on July 23, 2020. The surprise was a ten-year anniversary video celebrating their journey together, taking viewers through some of the group's best moments. The footage left fans hoping for a reunion after the four-year hiatus. Hopefully, there will be one.
What positive events have you seen out in the world this past month?