Maybe it’s an avoidance of knowledge.
Do you know what nastiness the Iranian government is perpetrating upon its people, or the state of nuclear stability in Pakistan
, or intel from Yemen
These things have a direct effect upon how our government acts throughout the world, and therefore how the world’s citizens – and terrorists – react to our country.
So it might become too easy for some people to browse these reports and stories, and come to the conclusion that everything’s not great… and that’s a problem for them.
But for me, carrying that knowledge in no way depresses my quality of life.
In fact, I usually find myself taking a moment in the immediate aftermath of learning new, horrible facts about my fellow humans, and appreciating even more the beauty that surrounds me, or the simplicity of my daily life that so many people around the world cannot enjoy.
Knowing how bad others have it allows me to appreciate my life more.
Maybe it’s a belief that it is socially unacceptable to bring up negative topics. I mean, who wants to be the ‘Debbie Downer’ at the dinner party? But the thing about that old SNL sketch is that Debbie never had a point to steering the conversation down the path that led to the ‘WAH-WHAOW’ sound effect. And I often catch myself doing this & realize that I better have a point to whatever issue I’ve just injected into the cocktail hour chitchat. And usually that point is the revelation of some nugget of knowledge that few in attendance have either come across, or considered in the context of whatever topic we’re screwing into the ground. I’ve found that bringing up negative subject matter often leads to increasing knowledge, and I’m certainly all for that. Even when somebody reacts with ‘Oh, I didn’t need to know that’, I usually find it pretty easy to provide them with a good reason why, in fact, they should.
Maybe they’re just tired. I’m not sure if I can say for certain if negative thinking is a drain or not. I certainly hope that it’s not any more of an energy drain than putting on an act for everyone, and perpetrating a façade of perfection at any cost… jeez, that’s got to be exhausting. But sometimes people get to a point where they’ve just Had Enough. Maybe they’ve put in their time caring, and it’s time to stop. Maybe if you bang your head against your cause long enough, no matter how much or how little success you have, sooner or later you’re going to get a headache and want to stop.
Or maybe they’re stupid. Thankfully, I don’t seem to have many examples in my life to cite for reference here, but the combination of stupidity and overwhelming positivity is every politician’s wet dream. Or the mark of someone that simply hopes for the best. Or the sign of someone so physically beautiful and/or attractive that they’ll never have to worry about much of anything in their entire life, knowing that there will always be someone there to provide them with whatever they need… for a very small price.
Most of us do not have such a luxury. But do any of us have the luxury of trying to cruise through life with blinders on to anything that violates our world view? Is it really a good idea to consciously avoid things that might – heaven forbid – cause our brow to furrow? Does every little thing & situation need to have a silver lining dug up and exposed? Or is there true value to negativity? Let’s ask my generations’ greatest example of negative energy.
No not Glenn Beck… but close.