“It’s all in his positivity – ness.”
That is the sentence my son uttered and the word that he used. And when he did, I did the eye-squint double take. I certainly know what the word positive means. And I am fairly skilled with the meanings of the common english suffixes. But when he put them all together, I paused.
Since that moment, I have thought long and hard about it. Positivity – ness. What does it mean? What does it mean to me? What should it mean?
Many days, I find that all types of challenges, problems, dilemmas, tests, trials, and conundrums that are just waiting to be explored, solved, eliminated, completed, deciphered, and overcome. All too often there seems to be far too few hours in the day to properly address everything that is on my short-term list, never mind everything that is on my long-term list!
In fact though I am embarrassed to admit it – but not too proud to face it – two days ago, though it is not something I do often, I did take a small pile of moments out of my day to stop and complain – about the workload in front of me, the mound of seemingly insolvable problems around me, and the lack of my ability to succeed with any of it. Keep in mind, that I know that I should not be complaining. I know my world is kind, great, and wonderful. I have family, friends, health, security, and more; but, for some reason I took five and whined.
Today, I remembered my son’s word . . . positivity – ness. It swirled around my mind for a piece of time, and became a little, silent mantra that I heard most of the afternoon. Positivity – ness. Positivity – ness. Positivity – ness. As crazy-funny as it might sound, that most unusual word – a word that seems to have one too many endings – is one very powerful noun. And for now, it is becoming one stunning part of my vocabulary.
Most vocabulary words have rather concise definitions. Though not a genius, I can generally rattle off the meaning of everyday, ordinary words lickety-split, and for words that are more complicated, I can usually find sufficient dictionary definitions that are ten words or less. However, positivity – ness is neither an ordinary word nor one that can be found in the dictionary. It was one that was created and developed by my third son, the artist.
What I think he meant by it is only a guess. However, I have had some practice with such word interpretation. For this particular word isn’t the first that he has invented. In fact, he has a fleet of great terms plus a few phrases that he has brought to fruition. Some of his words have brought howls of laughter, some nods of agreement, others quizzical head shakes, all of them joy in the moment. I have truly grown accustomed to new language additions from this most unlikely source.
Positivity – ness is a term, however, that has done more for me than just increased my language. Its meaning isn’t simple nor short. I think when that third son invented it, he knew it was a word to be comprehended and understood after a long period of thought. In fact, I think he expected folks around him to consider its meaning and use it appropriately, kindly, and confidently.
Positivity – ness is what it takes to make it through a day when there is nothing else to consider. Positivity – ness is knowing that we are all challenged each day, but we are also blessed, and it is the blessings that should be the focal point. Positivity – ness is learning to enjoy and respect the differences within each other. Positivity – ness is expecting that we will work to change the world in many ways, every day, all of our days. Positivity – ness is relying on each other for the strength we need when we can’t muster the strength we need ourselves.
Today, I found positivity – ness in the smile on the face of the guy who nodded his head as I jogged past him on a sidewalk near my home town university. I heard positivity-ness in the voice of my oldest son as he told me about the birth of a friend’s child, seven pounds, two ounces, healthy. I felt positivity – ness when my golf partner told me about the joy of helping her daughter move into her first new house. I learned positivity – ness through all of these events and so many more, too many to list, that occurred in one brief twenty-four hour period.
I think the beauty of the definition of positivity – ness is that it can not exactly be defined. More importantly, as I use the word – positivity – ness – I need to make sure that I use it well and use it right, while undergoing and valuing that quirky unknown meaning sensation.
The world is a great place, filled with opportunity and possibilities. I hope that I can use my positivity – ness to reach out to others, to find ways to make the ails of the universe fade away.
What a great word. What a great day.