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“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” ~ Epictetus

Over the course of the past few months, I have found myself sucked into the negative outlook of those around me. Oh, I'm not talking about my family here - or even my friends in real life. What I am talking about is online friends who seem to think it is necessary to bombard my senses with all that is negative and bad in the world.

The greatest offender, of course, is Facebook. Hardly a day goes by without several posts magically appearing that exhort me to take action to prove that I am a decent human being. You know what I am talking about. Those posts that claim any intelligent or compassionate human being would share their posts as proof of their superior standing in this world, while reminding me that and if I don't, then the devil must have a stronghold on my life. 

Sometimes, I find the irony amusing - especially when politically inclined people cry out for individual freedom while implying that if I don't share their message I am somehow a lesser human being. Do they not realize the irony of their ways?

Other times, I find them offensive. Not because the cause isn't worthy - it often is - but because the post invariable leaves readers feeling as though they are somehow lacking. I suppose the person who posts the message gets a temporary lift in spirits. Maybe they even think they are sending a valuable message to the world. What they do not realize is that by taking a jab at others they are tearing themselves down too.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling the drain of being bombarded with negative comments and negative news. I have decided to follow the words of Epictetus and keep company with those that uplift me and call forth my best.

Today, I am grateful for a break in the rain, for sunny skies and gentle winds. I am grateful for my garden as it reaches for the sun, for songbirds who sing out in joy, and for baby animals everywhere that get some refuse from the rain. 
I am grateful for quiet moments to reflect, for lively times to laugh and have fun, and for my family that I love deeply. I am grateful for friends who lift me up, for opportunities to shine, and for another day to enjoy this glorious life. 
I am grateful for good books, well-told stories and the light of the moon. I am grateful for fireflies that light the night, for campfires that draw people close, and for the owl that hoots in the night.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you keep company with those that uplift you and call forth your best as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


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