On A Positive Note…

Street hustlers have always been known to have the “gift of gab” — it’s that persuasive lil’ something where they’re always ready to pocket one’s cash after a well rehearsed sales pitch. But this guy was different. While scouting The Highline Park for the perfect backdrop for a recent engagement shoot, I spied a young man shuffling his feet as he found his way to fellow patrons of the park. His movements were slow and his voice was soft. I’ll admit to being a bit freaked out, this is New York after all; it becomes second nature in this town to notice everything–and everyone–around you.

So, needless to say, I stiffened up slightly and put my game face on (I’m from Brooklyn, we walk around with our ‘game faces’ in our pockets and we’re always ready for the next move) as he made his way, almost in slow motion, to me. Despite being a bit cautious of him, my guard came down a little once he spoke. He said that his name is Omar and that he was selling a cookbook. A cookbook? This coming from a young man who looked like he could benefit from a meal or two. But he told me that it wasn’t any ordinary cookbook. He said that it held recipes of positivity. Hmmm…I’m intrigued. “What kinds of recipes are in the cookbook?”, I ask. “The recipes in this book are for the mind and spirit,” He said. “You can’t find these products on store shelves. For all the times we’ve found ourselves cowering behind feelings of inadequacy, the “Mental Diet” assures us there is no need to fear failure.”

He spews one the recipes with the finesse of seasoned (no pun intended) wordsmith:

Stress Free Mac n’ Cheese
Bring to boil 1 lb of conscious elbow macaroni
Add slices of ignore the drama cheddar cheese
With Pepper Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Place macaroni in a now is the time to be at peace aluminum foil
Mix in two cups of canned milk
Pour on top of let the negative feelings go cheese topping
Allow to settle
Cover with a sheet of meditation aluminum foil
Place pan in don’t overract oven
Cook slowly for 30 to 60 minutes
Remove from the oven and allow to cool

Snaps! Snaps! I found myself smiling with him and thanking him for thinking of someone other than himself! Bravo! It was definitely something that I was glad to come across in light of some questions I’ve had to ask myself lately. It was then that the suspicious New Yorker in me emerged. “Alright dude, how much is this positivity gonna cost me?” He looked at me, smiled and handed me his little pamphlet of progressive vibes and said: “For you, the price of positivity: FREE!!” 🙂

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