Friday, October 30, 2009

Passion Party #94 - The Power of Negative Thinking

Yesterday I read a book review of two new books:
one by a woman who is a cancer survivor,
one by an arch conservative.
Both were complaining about our
Feel-Good, Positive-Thinking, Have-a-nice-day society.
The woman felt she was ostracized if she didn't buy in to the idea that she had to "think positively" to help get rid of the cancer, instead of her belief that science and medicine would or would not cure her disease.
The man was just a curmudgeon, positive that Oprah and Dr. Phil and Eckhart Tolle are taking us all to hell in a hand-basket.
My mom, like many Jewish mothers, was a card-carrying member of the Power of Negative Thinking Club.
The Club has four precepts:
- Bad things are to be expected, and you know, it could be worse!
- No matter how good something is, these is always room to complain.
- Expect the worst, and you leave room that you can be pleasantly surprised.
- Complain enough, and you will feel better
And one corollary:
- Worrying prevents bad things from happening.

But over the last few years even my mother has become more positive.

I see myself as a realist that prefers to look at the glass half full
being optimistic with a healthy dose of skepticism
and always backing my positive attitude
with action.

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