Want a more positive environment? It starts with you.

Want a more positive environment? It starts with you.

I’ve been riding and frequenting barns for a lifetime. When I started out, helmets were more about etiquette than protection. I rode horses and bikes, skied and just about everything else without the benefit of a helmet. These days, I probably wear a helmet more to set an example for the younger riders more so than for protection. Don’t get me wrong, I know I how important it is to wear my helmet, and this is most likely why I board at an active barn, because I know that if I was alone I’m pretty sure I would forget it half the time.

I believe I can influence someone to wear a helmet by doing so myself, then I need to believe I can also stop someone from being mean and saying hurtful things just by setting a better example for that behavior as well.

New Rule #1: If you can’t say something nice DON’T SAY ANYTHING!!! (I’m expecting a whole lot of quiet.) I don’t plan to become the barn police but I will not participate in or feed your negativity. You will be reminded once of the rule and then be asked to remove yourself from my presence if you continue speaking poorly about anyone or anything.

New Rule #2: Do not share any form of gossip. I am not interested. Do not tell me about your friends’ problems, or who is annoying you. If you have something nice to say I’ll celebrate it with you but otherwise, let’s talk about the weather, unless you only have negative things to say about that as well. If that’s the case… then just don’t speak.

New Rule #3: Do not approach me all doom and gloom grey. We all have bad days and most of us are doing our best to plod through them with some sort of positive attitude. Do not whine to me how bad your day or life is. If you want or need my advice, just ask. But I promise you I am practicing the comeback, “If you don’t like it… only you can change it.”

Final rule (or maybe request): Put the rose color glasses on. If we all made just a small effort each day and challenged ourselves to find something good in each person we encounter, we would all be better off.

I am going to stand tall and hang on to these rules with hopes we all become just a bit nice to each other.