The power of positive and negative thinking (along with actions) can greatly affect individual and social situations (whether or not they are true actions). I have often felt a lot better about the world when I hear an educated person talk about something inspirational. I've gone to parties that were boring, and I've been to ones where I've had a blast, depending upon the people there and their positive or negative manner. Being positive or negative is catching, although it may not be lasting for some, but a positive mood seems to stick with me longer. I have been picked up out of the doldrums by someone else's positive attitude.
This is an interesting topic for me. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a news story by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, about how the media plays such a big part in our economy in how they report financial stories, and if you listen to them talking about the economy, you too, will notice that they put such a downspin on everything. They report on how bad folks have it with foreclosing houses or picking up the pieces from a disaster, and on and on. When is the last time you have heard a report from someone is doing just fine and doesn't have a problem with the price of bread. At any rate, the point is that when we hear nothing but "bad" and "negative," the feeling and general mood perpetuates itself, and thereby so our economy goes. If nothing seems to be getting better, we go into the "save" mode where we don't buy anything we don't need and feed into the economy. When we hear that things are on their way up, that's when we see people not afraid to spend or buy stocks. This is just an example on how positive and negative can have an effect socially and how the media can control such issues.
So, is cynicism and negativity the reality? Not necessarily. As an example, in the last paragraph, not all people are hitting the bottom of the barrel, but how often do you hear about people succeeding as opposed to not. It's how you respond to negativity that makes your own reality, but it helps to be able to look past it and know the facts before opening up.
"The Cynical and Negative will say that " Reality dictates that this is just the way things are and are likely to always be concerning those matters."
I just caught this bit in your original post. I think you misunderstand what a cynic is. Cynics don't resign themselves to inaction. In fact, super-positive people are far more likely to simply accept things as they are, because they believe that by simply being grateful for what they have, they have somehow conquered the situation.
You know science has shown that people who see the world through rose colored glasses (ie: the super positive folks), they may be happy, but they tend not to see the world as it really is.
Whereas people who are chronically depressed or cynical have a greater ability to judge the reality of the situations they find themselves in.
Our culture demands that we be cheerful, hopeful, optimistic. We're supposed to "turn that smile upside down," and pull ourselves up with our own bootstraps.
I myself would take a roomful of cynics any day over a crowd of folks who have faces that hurt from all the excessive smiling they're doing.
I would suggest, if you are so inclined, that you take a look at a book called 'Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America ' by Barbara Ehrenreich. It's a good read and confronts much of our strange cultural hang ups on being cheerful, even when it goes against our best interests to do so.
Edited by: LILLIPUTIANNA at: 7/26/2013 (12:22)
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2,953 7/26/13 7:02 A
I tend to just keep going when I run into people with rotten attitudes. I spent years trying to help with advice etc but found all they want to do is vent and I just happened to be the first person in line!
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2,357 7/25/13 3:08 P
There are things you can change and things you can't. Physical laws of the universe can't be changed, your boss' personality can't be changed, etc.
BUT you can change your reactions to your boss and how you deal with the laws of the universe. As someone said (Thomas Moore, I think): Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. So if you feel the need to fight the good fight, go for it but don't expect an ice age to come tomorrow* :P
*barring of course unforseen disasters like a monster asteroid or nuclear war.
I find that I want to encourage people to not accept nastiness that is soul-shrinking but to, rather, seek common cause to invest in making a difference for those who are beset by intolerable conditions.
This seems to be a a way people write off those things in the world that seem to not be working well and seem to cry out to ask for a committed personal commitment of individuals to change and improve those conditions..
The Cynical and Negative will say that " Reality dictates that this is just the way things are and are likely to always be concerning those matters."
What do you find the best way to challenge this attitude is ?
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