As some of you may have noticed, I try to keep the topics in my column of interest and in support of the Muscatine community, light-hearted and positive in nature. But today I’m not feeling that way.

For the past 24 hours, I have watched the posts on our Facebook page with mild disgust. In the past week, I have monitored the comments on Journal stories about city government candidates on area online message boards, and I have just one thought.

When did we get so mean?

I don’t care if the topic is an educational article by The Associated Press on how a parent can watch for signs of their child identifying as transgender or if it’s about the candidates who have announced they plan to run for local government, and even opinions on sitting officials. I wondered if anyone else feels as I do, and it seems others have noticed.

An article published in Time magazine on Jan. 5, 2016 cites various factors ranging from wellness, our understanding of fairness and the lack of a push to do better. The author goes on to point out that angry people are poor communicators and even worse listeners.

They say the key to being less angry is to relax and reassess. So, that’s what I intend to do.

Thankfully, the Muscatine area provides ample opportunity to do just that. Here’s a list of suggestions offered by some not-so-angry people that I know:

1. Get in a workout at the YMCA or workout facility.

2. Feed the ducks at Weed Park, but please don’t take bread.

3. Sign up for a yoga class.

4. Rent a canoe on Chicken Creek at Saulsbury Recreation Area.

5. Research your ancestry at the Musser Public Library.

6. Enjoy a libation in one of Muscatine’s outdoor beer gardens.

7. Organize a food drive, or volunteer at a meal site.

8. Explore Muscatine’s trail system.

9. Visit an outdoor market, the Farmers’ Market or even an area produce stand.

10. Turn off the TV, your computer and put hand-held devices away and just engage someone in conversation.

Good luck. I’ll be rooting for you.