In a world bombarded by bad news and negativity, there are those who have made it their cause to be positive — to be a “feel good” force for humanity. Smiling in the face of skepticism and scorn, they stay ever optimistic, never straying from their self-appointed task. Where can you find these fearless ambassadors of hope and happiness? Just about anywhere, if you look hard enough. In the meantime, here’s a look at six super positive people who are changing the world, one smile or kind act at a time.
Who knows? Maybe they’ll inspire you to join the cause. Maybe the next positive person you see will be in your mirror!
- Spandy Andy: When it comes to rocking a tight fitting costume, Spider Man’s got nothing on Spandy Andy. Canada’s self-proclaimed “Super Hero of Positivity” has made it his mission to cheer people up by dancing for the masses…in spandex. Spandy’s dead serious about making people happy. Over the last few years he’s traveled thousands of miles—and thanks to massive exposure on Reddit and YouTube—Spandy’s viral videos are generating millions of smiles. Sure, he’s goofy, but it’s hard not to like the guy. He’s got the bod, the beat, and when it comes to making people smile—he’s got all the right moves.
- Juan Mann and his Free Hugs: In London, life gave Juan Mann an orchard’s worth of lemons. Down on his luck, Mann returned to his home town of Sydney, but he got no hugs at the airport. Soon, with a homemade sign advertising “Free Hugs” to all comers, Juan Mann turned a street corner campaign into a world-wide movement. Here are 20 “Amazing benefits of hugging” from JenReviews.com.
- Johnny Barnes aka “Mr. Happy Man”: 88 year-old Bermuda resident Johnny Barnes has no time to hang out at the rest home. He’s got better things to do, like spending 6 hours a day on a busy highway, telling cranky commuters that he loves them and to “have a good day.” Known to the locals and now thousands on the internet as “Mr. Happy Man,” Johnny Barnes special brand of cheer is an inspiration to all who wonder if the actions of one person can really make a difference.
- Lauren Lawson “The Girl with the White Board”: We may dream in color, but as far as Lauren Lawson is concerned, the words we need to keep our dreams alive come in black and white. In rain or sunshine Lawson, a 22-year old student at Aurora University, can often be found in downtown Chicago, hoisting a white board that boasts such motivational phrases as, “Your dreams are beautiful,” “Fear Nothing,” and “You are not alone” hand written in bold, black ink. From the looks of her ever-growing fan base, Lauren’s positive statements are having quite an impact.
- Richard Valente and his “Happy Cart”: Every day for the past seven years, octogenarian Richard Valente has been using his “happy cart” to spread happiness to sick patients at Sequoia Hospital in Northern California. Following the death of his wife, Valente sought to fill his days in fulfilling ways, so he volunteered at the hospital and hasn’t looked back. His specialty is providing patients the daily necessities and goodies that the hospital does not provide. And he does it all free of charge.
- Jack Czapla the boy with the Band-Aids: In 2009, at the age of four, Jack Czapla was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia. Upon discovering first hand that plain old Band-Aids aren’t fun for sick kids, Jack knew what he had to do. Through his efforts, thousands of boxes of whimsical Band-Aids have been donated to Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital. In addition, schools and communities have banded together in support of the Illinois Leukemia and Lymphatic Society, which recently declared Jack Czapla “2012 Boy of the Year.”