Being Positive: Not Always Helpful

There’s a pervasive myth infecting our impressionable minds today. Corporations feed off of this myth, advertisements prey upon it, and the populace panders to it. This myth compels us to buy into fleeting, shallow trends and to sell our moral character. This myth urges us on to sacrifice our capacity to feel for others; it lulls us into a restless sleep. This myth is thinking positive, thinking positive as a strategy to obtain what you want. Whether it is an executive office or a place on stage, we’re told that if we just want it enough, our dreams will materialize. If only we’d believe, we can escape. If we believe, we can leave the gang of peasants and join the ranks of the privileged, the famous, the wealthy, the beautiful, and we’d finally be complete. We wouldn’t have to look at our sagging, wrinkled faces anymore or report to our narcissistic superiors. We’d finally be able to scorn the peasants from our own seat atop the teetering empire. Everything is possible but only if we think positive and believe that we’re special. Nevertheless, with a false but convincing hope, we do what we’ve always done – work at menial jobs that don’t engage our minds and buy gadgets to bury the meaningless pattern of work, buy, work, buy.

Our crisis isn’t negativity; this teaches us to embrace the illusion. If we aren’t satisfied with the way things are, we need to examine our own habits as well as the habits of powerful and ubiquitous entities that affect our lives. Let’s not preserve the status quo if injustice becomes the norm. By gratefully sinking into a comatose state, we endanger our quality of life and enable the powerful among us to chase youth, power, and safety at our expense. The truth can be brutal. The truth can be messy. The truth can tear at the most vulnerable tissue in our hearts, but we can stare into the illusion long enough to mistake it for truth itself. It’s time we realize that being positive to maintain the status quo is immeasurably dangerous, and let’s at least acknowledge the possibility that society mass produces generations that care less and less about their fellow men and women. Let’s admit that action with a guiding belief is catalyst to change, not belief itself.

Let’s permit ourselves to be human beings, despite what charlatans claim. Our minds are powerful. Our minds, however, are not powerful enough to shape reality according to our thoughts. Real, honest change comes from a persistent alteration of habits and lifestyle. Just as in losing weight, con artists will solicit us magical methods to vaporize our protruding guts and double chins. Meanwhile, the answer to being overweight has always been a lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise; it sat one centimeter in front of our faces the whole time. Life is grueling work, and it’s time to charge at it like a warrior. What will it take to understand that living simply and acting out of authentic compassion is in our best interest? Will it be the tanks patrolling our streets or bloody guts cascading our walls? Civilization without compassion, fascism, starts with dehumanization and people betraying each other, lying to each other for a shot in front of a camera or an invitation into a repugnant, secret club of wealthy, influential people. Thankfully, there are people who care.

There’s people who refuse to perpetuate this system presiding over us, protected by humanoids, people who lack empathy. As always, we all have the potential to be humanoids and must stay vigil. We must watch what we’re thinking. We must interpret how our actions affect others. Are we maliciously hurting others for our own benefit? Every time a positive thought drifts through our mind, we’d be wise to discern the usefulness of it and whether or not it perpetuates awful circumstances like sickness, violence, poverty, and mass annihilation we call war. Every time we have a negative thought, we’d be wise to treat it like a positive one. Whether or not we’re delusional is the crux of our problem. Channeling positive energy lies way out on the fringe. Hailing positive thoughts as a legitimate tool to fulfill our own egotistical desires only becomes our folly. Chasing a bottomless pit of wealth, overindulging our base sexual desires, is this really worth the trouble?

If we feel broken, there’s not going to be a nicely packaged gift waiting for us. It’s easy to specify one cause and one remedy for our crisis, and that’s the appeal. This illogical thinking sells itself. The scheme is extremely profitable. Many salesmen put bows on shortcuts, shortcuts that eventually fail but saturate the weight loss industry, the skin care industry, and the self-help industry. These products address problems that cannot be miraculously solved so effortlessly. A multitude of factors contribute to our circumstance, and it’s just not feasible to pinpoint once cause and one remedy. Charlatans, I’m afraid, abuse positive thinking as the cure for our unemployment, money woes, our ill health, and our unhappiness but actually, there’s nothing wrong with positive thinking itself just as long as it guides positive action. However, positive thinking can be negative, detrimental to our cause as we try to improve the quality of our lives through thought alone.