Editorial

When did we become so negative and what do we do about it?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Everywhere I look today I see people that have an obsession with negativity. As a culture we have a very “glass half-empty” outlook of the world around us. I don’t think things have always been this way because if they have been, I don’t see how we’ve made it as far as we have.

It seem as if people today are always placing limits on what they can do. If learning something new is difficult many will just give up on it. This is not a good rationale. Everything in life is difficult. Life may be hard but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. If you want to learn a new skill it shouldn’t matter how inexperienced you are or how old you are or where you come from in life. Learning something new is something that we can all do, we just have to dedicate ourselves to it.

Some of you may say that this negative attitude is simply a part of growing up. You say that “real world” is unforgiving and because of that we simply have to stay on constant alert. Even if being on alert means we act like a stick in the mud all the time, so be it. It is for our own good.

I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. While it is true that we need to be prepared for the worst, that doesn’t mean we have to act like the worst has already happened.

Maybe this condition is in part due to the time that we live in. In the modern age we have been provided with nearly limitless knowledge because of the Internet but with limitless knowledge at our fingertips it can be easy to focus on all the bad in the world.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we would be better off without the Internet. We are much better off with all of the abilities it provides for us. No, I think the problem is us. At some point we decided that the best way to look at the world was to focus on all the dark and ignore the light and its time for us to stop.

Maybe we are like this because so many of us disagree with each other to the point of irrationality. I don’t want to get too political about this, but it seems to me that in today’s society people find it easier to just dislike those who disagree with them. How does one go through life like that? I know it happens on both sides of the spectrum. I’ve even found myself having thoughts like that but that doesn’t mean that it’s right.

So what do we do? Well first off, this pessimistic outlook on life and everything in it needs to be shut down. There are plenty of things in this world that are worth celebrating.

Life itself is worth celebrating. Every moment that you have with someone that you care about is worth cherishing and that alone should be enough to make you stay positive.

We live in a country with some of the biggest privileges in the world. If you have a house with a roof or if you have running water or if you get to eat a meal every day that should be enough to keep you positive because there are plenty of people in our world that don’t have those things and maybe never will.

We need to stop letting labels like “democrat” and “republican” define our entire personality. People are more than that and as hard as it may be for some, we need to learn to stop looking at a person’s political standings as a sum of all they are as a person.

We also need to start being a little nicer to one another and stop being so hyperbolic. What ever may have happened to you last week is not the “end of the world.”

Most of all we need to focus on what really matters to us and not what other people think should matter to us. We need to let the light come out and we need to be better people.

gwilliams@blythevillecourier.com