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Sue's Muse: Positive Images


By Sue Ommen

Fri, Jan 25th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

The morning show featured a young man who decided to counteract some of the negative messages in cyberspace by giving compliments on twitter. It started by saying something positive to classmates in his high school and soon the idea took off on twitter and became a movement. Just as the negativity of the past had spread across the web, now a splash of kindness had replaced it. The teens had not only sent compliments to classmates, but in a benevolent mood also to teachers and others. Tweets were soon buzzing among other teens on the web and spreading at the speed of nimble fingers used to feats of extreme texting.

Pair this effort with Ann Curry’s 26 acts of kindness, in response to the 20 small children and six teachers killed in a senseless act of violence, and the response has been embraced by many around the world.

In another segment, a notion dubbed the “Gratitude Gap” was discussed. Most people appreciate family, yes, including spouses, but only half tell them by giving a compliment. It seems as though positive comments or acts of kindness is a movement that is worthy of continuing. In the mood of our discontent with politicians, the inequity between the rich and the middle class, prices going up, and winter in Minnesota itself, it is easy to be grouchy. Numerous studies show a positive attitude in general, not always easy to achieve among the daily stresses of life, is also better for our well-being. Imagine a world where the recipient of a positive message or kindness pays it forward each time. Perhaps, “Minnesota nice” could be the rule instead of the exception, at least in our little corner of the world, if not beyond.



Butternut Squash, Maple Syrup, and Sage

2 pounds butternut squash

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ cup tomatoes, diced

½ cup cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 tablespoon minced sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Cut the butternut squash in half through the stem end and scoop out seeds and strings. Arrange cut side up and brush lightly with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 to 40 min. at 375° until almost tender. Remove from oven, uncover, and add the prepared mixture to the middle of the squash. Bake an additional 20 min.

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