I’m done.  I’m over it.  I can’t do it it any more.

What in particular am I talking about?  I’m through with the negativity, the cynicism, the mean-spiritedness.  I am sick and tired of constantly having horrific, rude, judgmental information crammed down my throat.  A person can only take so much of this before it is too much.  I hit that point about two months ago.

I'm...So....ANGRY!!!!

I’m…So….ANGRY!!!!

I am tired of reading about whatever product you started using and selling and how I am an idiot, a heathen, a horrible resident of Earth for not using it.

I am tired of violence being politicized – whether it be a school shooting or a cop-involved shooting.  I can’t stand seeing human lives having their value stripped away for the benefit of a particular party or lobby or stance.  The devastation any of these events bring to the family and friends of the victims AND instigators is mammoth.  Think of how hard it is for a regular person to deal with the peaceful death of a loved one.  That has to be multiplied by a zillion when the death comes through one of these violent acts.

I am tired of reading about how this man is the antichrist and this woman is the handmaiden of the Devil.  And when I’m done reading the opinions about Kanye and Kim, I have to read people who don’t live with either party arguing about if Angelina or Brad was wrong.  And then I have to read about Donald and Hillary.

Oh…. the Political wars.  I am so tired of them.  Your candidate is a paragon of virtue.  The other candidate is the most corrupt human being to walk the Earth.  The fact that anyone defends either of them is ridiculous.  We all know that both of them are despicable excuses for humans and politicians and…..

Deep breaths, David.  This is what happens.  There is only so much of this negative poison that can be ingested before a rational person succumbs to the negativity.  We are watching an intellectual version of the zombie apocalypse.  Slowly, people are being dragged into the muck and emerging as whiny, vicious, racist, sexist, ageist, toxic monsters.  People I used to respect have crossed the line to where I can’t stand hearing from them.

At some point this summer, I realized that America had lost its collective mind.  And, frankly, I chose to not wallow in this mire any more.  There is enough crap that the average person has to deal with on a daily basis that the influx of negativity just is too much.  This summer was the hardest stretch of my life.  My family moved halfway across the country – from South Carolina to Texas to relocate for my wife’s medical training.  We sacrificed friends and family and comfortable weather to allow her to receive the top training she could find so she can help decades of kids with cystic fibrosis.  That was hard on our whole family.  Then a week after we got here, my mom died of cancer.  Add to that the normal stresses of bills and doctors and schools messing up registration and trying to schedule three kids at three different schools.  Basically it was a poop sundae that I didn’t want to ingest.  I just hit a point where I said, “Nope.  Nope. Nope.  I’m done.  I have too much to deal with.  I can’t get dragged into this septic tank any more.”

They were dark, but their pictures were cheesy.

They were dark, but their pictures were cheesy.

I don’t want to be negative.  I don’t want to be cynical.  I want to celebrate the joys and successes and amazeballs discoveries.  I want to see the good in things and focus on that.  I want to be around people who lift me up and want me to lift them up. I want to see a renaissance of something long lost in our modern world: POSITIVITY.  This isn’t easy for me.  I have been saddled with the nickname Eeyore for decades.  I was told by a youth pastor that I was the most negative person he had ever met.  I was 13!  I wrestle with living in the dark places and being pulled quickly into even darker ones.  This summer, though, I reached levels of despair and sadness I never knew possible.  And I hated it.  I hated the people who were contributing to this descent.  But that wasn’t profitable.  It was like the Rogue/Gambit relationship in the 1980s/1990s XMen.  The more darkness she pulled from him, the worse it made both of them.  For me to survive (and honestly, for our society to survive, I suspect), things have to change.  I have to do something. It has been hard for me to figure out what this will look like.  I toyed with several ideas before coming up with a game plan.

I want to produce a weekly post that celebrates something.  It could be a movie I loved, a book I enjoyed, an album I appreciated.  It could be a restaurant that is doing things well, a company or a product that has made a positive impact.  It may be a podcast with a friend, asking for that person to enlighten me on something I don’t quite understand or like.  It may be me trying something unusual or frightening that I know will be good for me.  I mean, I can tell my kids that the HAVE TO go to band camp, try sushi, sign up for karate.  But when was the last time I did anything that pushed me?  I don’t want this to be some kind of sappy, emotionally manipulative project that oozes with cloyingly sweet idiocy.  I don’t want it to be click bait.  “Sugar Land man tries organic steak and YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS!”  I want it to be genuinely, organically (secondary definition of that word – this is how a Test Prep teacher thinks, by the way) positive and beneficial.

While this is largely a selfish project, I also have a sneaky suspicion that there are a good number of you out there that would actually like a regular, positive resource to look forward to during YOUR poop sundae of a week.  So, to prove that this is not just for me, I extend an offer to you.  If you have a thought about what an entry could look like, drop me a line at UpAllKnight_SL@icloud.com.  Where did I get that name?  I’m a proud UCF KNIGHT alum, so there is your knight tie in.  UP, as in positive.  ALL, because it was clever.  Up All Knight.  Boom.

Literal New Mexico Hot Air Balloon

Literal New Mexico Hot Air Balloon

Some rules probably need to be put into place.  This is NOT an opportunity for you to try to sell me on something or someone.  I am not interested in emails telling me why I should vote for Gary Johnson or use Country Heat or bathe in coconut oil.  Those all may be great things, but I am looking at simple things that I can do or try or talk about.  I, unfortunately, am not Morgan Spurlock and am not looking to tackle 30 days of anything.  Also, remember I live near Houston, TX.  We have a lot of awesome stuff here, so I’m not looking to drive to New Mexico for a hot air balloon festival (unless you want to pay for it).  I still have a job, three kids, a wife with a job, two dogs, marching band, karate, orchestra, and a limited budget.  So this needs to be manageable within those restrictions.  I have some fun ideas to get things rolling – the first of which will hit this site later this week.  I hope that you’ll join me on this journey.  It could be good for all of us.

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David Staples

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