There is a term used in energy conservation that refers to electrical appliances that consume power even when they are not in use: “Energy Vampires." We become accustomed to items like electric clocks. Those clocks are always on, ready for us to read the time at any second. They use very little electricity and it makes more sense to leave them on and plugged in than to reset the time. They are innocuous and we are so accustomed to seeing them, we never consider how much power the billions of electric clocks must use and have nearly forgotten we used to read the time from a gadget we had to wind by hand every day.
Bigger energy users, like hot water heaters, are more insidious. Typical electric hot water heaters use electricity to heat a large tank of water and keep it hot for us to use at any time. There are alternatives like a tankless hot water heater but they are not very popular in the United States and it’s difficult to find installation and service.
Worse than these electrical devices are the human beings I think of as “Energy Vampires!" You know some of them, I’m certain. You know those people who never seem to have a good thing to say? They are constantly complaining about everything. They complain about politicians. They complain about taxes. They complain about traffic. (Well, we all complain about those things, don’t we?)
These Vampires take it much farther than complaints. They are the people who never say, “Wow! What a great idea!” They are the people who state, “I’m really happy for you, but….” Because they are not really happy for you, they must qualify their statement with a reason why they are not really happy for you.
I meet these Vampires everyplace I go. They are the ones never willing to listen to a new idea. They are the ones who start with the excuses why something won’t work, even before they have heard the details. They are the slayers of ideas. They suck your energy like the ubiquitous appliances and they suck your life force like the mythical vampires of fiction.
When we try to avoid the debilitating effects of the Vampires, they tell us we are “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses." If we refuse to be drawn down, we are warned of the consequences. If we stand tall with the conviction of our ideas, those vampires try every trick in their repertoire to discredit us. They scheme and they plot, they lie and they twist the truth to make themselves important.
I am an Optimist. I believe in the Pollyanna Principle. I think the world, even with all the problems, terrors and misery, is still a wonderful place. I think everything I encounter is deserving of respect and attention, whether it is a person in need of assistance or a town in need of revitalization.
I try to avoid those Vampires, but a species allowed to proliferate and thrive is hard to avoid. The only solution is to find another Pollyanna and another and another, until we have our own small army of positive thinkers. It’s not easy to find these folks. It’s not even easy to BE these folks, but I know they’re out there. I’m positive!
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