I stand accused of having become too negative. Me, little Miss Glass-half-full. Me, who sang Bing Crosby’s song, Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive, to my university’s former VP Finance, encouraging him to stop spending so much time dwelling on the negative side of things (which in that job, admittedly, was understandable). What happened to me?
I think we all know. It’s a modern disease that results from spending too much time reading or listening to news and wondering how the world got to be such a mean, angry place, even among people who have no personal complaints. It’s a disease that has infected all of us who had naively thought that beneath all the rancor there were people in charge who believed that kindness and decency to all were accepted aspects of living in a civil society. But, it turns out that from time to time some of these assumptions are sorely tested, and, sadly, this is one of those times. And news junkies like me, who have 24/7 access to over-the-top stress-inducing world news thanks to our advanced technologies, are left in despair over the state of the world. And despair for the world, it turns out, does have an impact on one’s usually positive attitude!
I haven’t lost my positive attitude about my own life, the lives of my family and friends, or my corner of the world. Not in the slightest. But apparently my preoccupation with the extraordinary disruption of 70 years of an integrated and cooperative world order has coloured my overall tone. I guess it makes some sense than in posting articles on FB that bemoan the current state of the world, albeit with compelling arguments ;), I have been perpetuating the stress-inducing despair that has turned me negative. Hmm. I’d better do something about this. Continue reading