“Being Positive” While Surrounded by Idiots

There’s a lot of confusion, I find, about the question of “being positive.”

A lot of people reject the idea of “being positive.” But when asked for a definition of being positive, they seem to assume that it means: ignoring the negative. In other words: denial, evasion, or sticking your head in the sand while wearing rose-colored glasses.

Being positive isn’t the primary goal, if you ask me.

Negative facts are a given. Some situations, circumstances, or periods of human life are more negative than others.

The question is how much importance negative facts or qualities in people really merit. The question isn’t, “Should I be positive?” The better coping method is, “How much importance should I give the negative?”

Take dishonesty as an example. Someone will say, “That man got away with his dishonesty. He’s even getting ahead of me at work, and I’m honest.’

Well, if dishonesty is so effective, then why don’t you try being a liar and a cheat, yourself?

The answer is obvious: Living a life of fraud and deception ultimately catches up with you, especially if you have something to lose. If you love your spouse, it will catch up with you if you’re in the habit of lying to him or her. If you love having customers, or if you love your job, then you risk a great deal by being a liar and a cheat in business. For anyone other than a common criminal, telling and maintaining lies is incredibly stressful. And the common criminal’s lifestyle is nothing write home about, either.

The fact that in one case a person at least appears to have gotten away with dishonesty is not proof of dishonesty’s effectiveness. It says nothing about the eventuality of his being exposed, and nothing about what it does to his mental health or character (assuming there is any) to try and maintain a constant fiction.

People who know about my political beliefs also ask me, “How can you remain at all positive in the midst of our society’s demise into socialist democracy or worse?” The only way I know how to answer that is to remember exactly what the people responsible for the demise are counting on — ignorance and/or stupidity on the part of the masses.

Is there a lot of ignorance and stupidity on the part of too many people, even a majority? Absolutely and provably so. Is that a good thing? No, it isn’t. But before getting too upset about the bad guys running the show, I keep in mind that the only way they retain their power or influence is by deliberately lying, distorting and counting on the frailties and errors of human beings in order to get by.

Obama ran up the national debt to unprecedented levels. He borrowed and spent more than any president in history. What did we get for it? A stagnant economy and an even more broke government. His solution, endorsed by a majority in the last election? More spending, more borrowing, higher taxes and more dependence on government handouts for more people as jobs fail to materialize.

Are a lot of people engaging in magical thinking to buy this b.s.? Without question. But that’s precisely my point. People like Obama are counting on the self-delusion of millions. The ignorance and stupidity of others are their only hope of clinging to power.

In essence, the idiots in both parties are telling us, ‘Sure, things are getting worse on our watch. But it would be even worse if it weren’t for us!’ They foster fear, i.e. weakness, in others. And yes, it’s working. But ultimately, as things get worse and worse still, they’re going to seem less and less credible. Sooner or later, we’ll either be in total collapse, or in total reverse. It need not have been so hard, but it’s never the end of everything so long as humankind has free will.

No, I don’t like living under these would-be dictators and I’m not at all happy about where things are going. But I have no illusions about the fact that today’s “leaders” are probably the most accurate example of the “blind leading the blind” ever known to mankind. ‘The criminal leading the blind’ is more accurate. It’s hard to get too upset about something that is simply just not sustainable.

I recognize that in a worst-case scenario, those in the right may go down fighting (literally or figuratively). However, it’s a lot better than going down without knowing what hit you. That’s what the ignorant majority will be doing, should they choose to remain ignorant and should the worst-case events (not guaranteed, but surely possible) play out.

Ignorance is curable. If people won’t look at the facts in 2012, maybe in 2015 or 2019 they will. Regardless, they will have no choice because unpleasant facts will continue to accumulate and (on our current course) the metaphorical ceiling will fall in on more and more of them.

Whatever the subject, the question psychologically always seems to be: How to remain cheerful in the midst of so much bad news?

It isn’t a matter of trying to “chin up and be positive.” It’s a matter of remembering just how weak and unimportant the stupid, the ignorant and the deceptive really are. It works for me, and I honestly believe it, down to the core.

Foolishness is man-made, but so is greatness. The choice has always been available to human beings, and it always will be.


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