Just like every other day

Yesterday was April Fools Day.  I was heading into the city on the train.  As I was leaving the train station, I noticed a hand-written sign on a large white board.  It said:

Thought for the day:

Today is April Fools Day.

Don’t believe anything you hear.

Don’t trust anyone.

Just like every other day.

I did a double take, and stopped and stared at the sign while commuters streamed around me in annoyance.  This was obviously supposed to be funny; a little bit of humour to set you on your way.  I found this sign very depressing.  I left the train station feeling very down and sad about the state of the world.

I was in the city to conduct some interviews for an ongoing research project on stakeholder engagement in the mental health care sector.   My last interview of the day was with someone who had a very sad story to tell.  A sad and harrowing story.  One that didn’t end well.  Imagine, if you will, the kinds of sad and harrowing stories that could be told when discussing mental health.  Well, this was one of those stories.

The person who told me this story was elderly.  Life had dealt him a very bad hand.  He could have been profoundly pessimistic.  His story had ended tragically, but he believed in the power of change.   He believed in the power of people to make changes.  He believed in the power of people to be good.  He believed that he could make a difference.

I walked back to the train station late in the day and the sign was still up.  But in my head, I re-wrote that sign.  In my head, it said:

Thought for the day:

Someone today is making a positive difference in the world.

Just like every other day.

9 thoughts on “Just like every other day

  1. I saw that same negative statement on Facebook. My immediate response was,”How cynical!” But I firmly believe that for every cynic in the world, there are multiple optimists just moving the world forward. Thanks for a great story.

  2. There is a silver lining in every situation…that last person you interviewed, found the silver lining….we all need that hope…

  3. I believe that there are a lot of people working everyday to make the world better. The problem usually is that societies tend to focus on what goes wrong, not what goes right. And people forget the positiveness around or don’t notice it at all.

    The sign you witnessed reminded me of a person I know: he is very distrusting of his surroundings and people and usually without a reason. IMHO, this is a distorted way of seeing & reacting to the world.

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