Positivity. Here’s proof.

Positivity is a strength. Here’s proof.

Last week, we did a StrengthsFinder exercise at work. Most of the strengths I found out I had were consistent and completely expected. Context and Command are top two strengths. I guess that means I can bark out orders with some conviction because I’ve read a lot about how Atila the Hun did it centuries ago.

But, Positivity was the lone wolf strength that threw me a bit. All you have to do is read this blog to know that I find folly in what many might call negative situations. I don’t care what anyone says, an adult falling down is always funny and an adult sprinting down the street (think of Tom Cruise’s character in The Firm) in a suit is even funnier (both because it’s a sight unto itself and also promises a high probably of said adult sprinter tripping and eating pavement).

Next time you see that 42 year old metro sexual tearing up 3rd avenue, just stop and ask yourself where the fuck is he going that he has to pull a Renaldo Nehemiah in a $1,000 outfit? You know it’s because of something trivial like he was walking his dog earlier that morning and stepped in a pile of poo causing him to have to go home and change shoes. Only when he changed shoes he realize that the tasseled mahogany loafers he has on now didn’t go with the dark navy suit he had on. So he had to change suits or pick up an English accent on the way to his first meeting. It’s always something as mundane and vain as that that causes people to be late. Otherwise, wake the fuck up on time and you’ll never have to sprint unless you’re being chased.

This flight to India is easily the longest trip I’ve taken in at least 20 years. I’m in coach. Middle seat. Every seat on the first leg of the flight has a bum in it. Yet, I must say that there was more to be glad about than to bitch about. Positivity:

  • Flight attendants were seemingly from every culture in the world and had some pretty hip yet traditional Arab uniforms – extra credit points for having historical context and a command for the now to be current. Plus all of them were far more polite than the most polite US Airways attendant – I think those folks aren’t so much working as they are seeking prey.

  • The audio visual ensemble on the seat back staring at my mug is better than any coach class entertainment system I’ve seen. A quantum leap better than JetBlue. A notch above Virgin America. United Airlines just plain sucks by comparison.

  • Every meal had rice in it.

  • As the lone Filipino on a flight of about 400 people – I enjoyed being unique even if it was for a mere 15 leg cramped hours. Having lived in the Bay Area for the past few years being a Filipino male is about as differentiated as that 3 millionth penny in a park fountain.

I get off the plane for a layover in Dubai and am thinking about all this positivity – hashing out a blog post in my head. It only took about 15 minutes for some of the shine to wear off. As I’m trying to orient myself and figure out where to go I hear a language that immediately nixes that last bullet. It’s not English. It’s not even Spanish. It’s Tagalog. Apparently my Filipino brethren haven’t just taken every US airport job, we’ve expanded the franchise to the beautiful airport in the UAE. I give the guy at duty free the universal Pinoy “you know that I know that you know that I’m a Pinoy” look. Next time I see you, I’ll show you what that look is and also teach you how to point with your lips.

Then I break into a light run for my gate and he’s probably thinking “I hope he falls.”

Jose Mallabo

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