Positive energy can help resolve conflicts


The law of conservation of energy states that energy must remain constant.

It can neither increase nor decrease without interference from an outside force.

Before I share why this is on my mind, though, let me talk about some of my week serving as the mayor of the best small town in America.

I recently attended the Mayor’s Roundtable with Accelerate Indiana Municipalities. This is always a good chance to be reminded that we all have the same problems, just on different scales depending on the size of our communities.

Thank you to AIM for hosting these events and giving us a chance to learn alongside our counterparts from around the state. Conversations varied from trash removal to ARP funds and even some insightful discussions on how the READI grant was affecting regions around the state positively and negatively.

Congratulations to the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department on the recent ribbon cutting for the disc golf course at Freeman Field Recreation Area. The nine-hole course was originally proposed by Kevin Holden at a park board meeting. After The Tribune ran an article related to it, Line Drive Sports Productions called and requested more details and went on to become the sponsor for the first nine holes.

When the baskets arrived, an arrangement was made with Seymour High School’s building trades class to do the installation and creation of the tee boxes.

Since that time, the hole layouts have been produced by Owl Manufacturing and installed by parks and recreation. This project was a group effort that produced a nice addition to the community.

Today, I am issuing a challenge to parks and recreation and the community to come together and have the back nine funded and installed by the end of the year for a spring 2023 ribbon cutting. If you are interested in helping fund the back nine holes, please reach out to parks and recreation about how you can get involved.

Well, I guess it is time to get back to the law of conservation of energy. If energy can neither increase nor decrease without the interference of an outside force, then shouldn’t positive energy be able to continue from one person to the next? Shouldn’t that smile flow freely to everyone you meet in the course of your day?

I doubt this was what Julius Mayer was thinking about in 1842, but it works well with today’s thoughts. I believe the answer to these questions should be yes, but we know that it isn’t always the case. I am as guilty as the next person, or maybe even more from time to time, of being that outside force that interferes with someone else’s positive energy. I am equally as guilty of meeting negative energy with an equal amount of negativity.

These are habits I try to correct in myself. I try to remember that oftentimes, when someone is negative, that battle they are fighting is often not aimed at me, but it’s a battle with themselves that has boiled over for all to see.

In those moments, if I can remember to keep my cool and respond with positive energy, we can often come together and find solutions that help resolve conflicts instead of creating new ones.

As I was sitting down to write this column, I read a quote from William Arthur Ward that I believed was going to be my closing thought.

That quote reads, “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” I still see how it fits well because if we seek out the positives from those around us, we will in turn pull that positive energy from ourselves.

Another quote, though, from Martin Luther King Jr. has come to mind that fits well, as well, and that quote is, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

If you must be the outside interference toward an energy, I hope you choose to interfere with the negative and try to turn it toward the positive with love.

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to [email protected].

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