Fertilizer or Fire? Are our thoughts and words contributing to- or tearing down- the world around us? Thinking and saying uplifting things makes us feel better, along with the recipient of our well-wishes. Thinking and saying things that tear down another usually make both parties feel less-than-great. It's natural to have a wide spectrum of feelings and thoughts, and some things may rightfully fire us up - so we can be part of the solution.
Dr. Maya Angelou said, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." Part of changing our attitude could go like this: when our thoughts and mouths start to turn into a negativity train going full steam ahead, we can stop in our tracks, and shift. Caroline Myss suggests that we say (or think) something like, "I don't understand you/it/this (and maybe I don't even like you/this/it), but I am not going to give it my attention anymore."
If we're feeling generous, we can add, "Bless you." (And mean it;). Or go so far as to send positive, uplifting thoughts and words to that person/situation, etc. They could probably use this a lot more than criticism. At the very least we can neutralize the situation by not adding more negativity (aka fire) to it. "Remember, only *you* can prevent forest fires," like Smokey the Bear says.
On the other hand, uplifting, positive thoughts and words can truly make a difference, landing like fertilizer on people and things, coaxing colorful inspiration wherever needed. "Try," Dr. Angelou advises, "to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."