This is the trend that you’ll hear millions of westerners shout from the rooftops. It’s something that’s taken hold over the last ten years in a social frenzy of people trying to take the power back into their lives. I get it, I have an abundant positive mindset myself. Shit happens to me and I look at it from a positive angle, or at least I try my hardest to do so.
What people get wrong, though, is that thinking positively isn’t just shoveling shit with a smile on your face, no. I expect that would be quite a nasty experience, and I wouldn’t look back on it with fond memories. It’s about looking at what you can extract from that whole experience to shine it in a better light in your mind. Sure, shoveling shit isn’t great, but did you meet any great people during that job? Or did it send your thinking down a different route and cause you to make any decisions that turned out in a positive way?
The mind is a muscle; and like any muscle, it can expand itself and also retract — by that I mean symbolically learn and unlearn different things.
Did you know that the mind can get used to negativity? This is why depression can happen to anyone. It only takes one prolonged bad experience for the mind to be pitched on an uneven slant towards negativity.
That’s why one man can walk down the street and see a rabble of angry people in front of him as an opportunity — perhaps he may have a solution for the person that the anger is directed towards. Whereas another man can walk down the street and see a bundle of ungrateful people hating on a deep-pocketed scrooge.
We see whatever the mind has learned and allowed us to see; and like I say, that can be one person’s abundant life of joy, and another person’s lifelong prison sentence.
And there are a lot of people on this earth that will sell you the proposition of positivity and abundance, but what I’ve come to learn is that many aren’t even in a position themselves to preach positivity. Mainly because the mind tricks us into believing that our version of the world is true; ironically, that our version is the only objective standard in which we should view it from. The rest is entirely subjective. And through this we decompact the information in which our mind gives us, however biased and incomplete.
But how do we sell positivity to people that don’t even believe that it exists? How do we bridge the gap between those that feel like the world is crashing down upon them every day, and those that wake up excited with a smile on their face so infectious that it could bring peace to war-torn countries? That’s the question we should be asking ourselves. That’s the real question.
Okay, so I’m not naive enough to think that we will all be dancing hand in hand in a future where everyone is peaceful, and the world is happy; human biology and psychology prohibits us from that. Science 101. Regardless of how hopeful and collaborative we are, there will always be someone trying to get one over us. There will always be someone trying to be better than us. But we can do our best; we can try and reach the few that we can in the short space of time we’re on this rock.
We can just be there. Simple, and effective, but sounds nigh impossible in a world that industrially panders to the self.
I see it more and more; we no longer think about how our words and actions impact others — we only care about how everything affects us. We only care about when we’re going to get stuff, and if yesterday is too long to wait for it. Growing deep and meaningful relationships is an art long gone, and I feel and see this every day. When I was younger, we used to fetch the old man next door’s groceries because he was too frail to do it himself — now we only care if he’s racist, or sexist, or whatever brand of political tag we seem to isolate people in.
We don’t care anymore.
It saddens me that one of the hottest Google search tags on my blog right now is, “why does no one care” — every time I see that tag I just want to reach out to them. Ping them a message. Tell them I care. And I’ll listen to them no matter how fucked up they may sound. Everyone needs someone to listen to them; even racists, sexists and whatever brand of political tag they are.
They weren’t born that way. That’s for sure.
So, I’d be there. I’d listen. I’d emulate all the characteristics of what being in a healthy friendship should look like. I’d hope to change the focus of the negativity onto the positivity. I’d hope that by just being there for some people I’d save someone, anyone.
Change is incredibly hard. Incredibly. I think the percentage of people turning their life around is 2% — there are ways. It’s about building a foundation. If you’ve ever tried to understand Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, then it’s about building the bottom and working your way to the top. It’s always about them, and not about you.
It’s never about you.
And until we start forging deep connections and stop being incredibly self-interested then that’s not going to happen.
Not for a while, anyway.