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Accentuate The Positive, Eliminate The Negative


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One of the most popular sections on Global Grey is the 'Self-Help' section. It's also the section I dip into the most when I get time to read. New Thought authors such as Florence Scovel Shinn, Thomas Troward, William Walker Atkinson and Ernest S. Holmes really inspire me and it's true to say that my days flow along much easier when I'm in that 'positive thinking' frame of mind.

I wasn't planning on writing an article about positive thinking today. It was supposed to be about strange paranormal stories I have come across, and I'll definitely do that one next. But then this morning, as I was reading the news, I came across a 'story' that cemented in my mind the idea that not only is 99% of mainstream news depressing, but also that there are times when I think that is a deliberate act.

The news story was one of a zoo worker who had been mauled by a crocodile in Australia. I live in the UK and the news site I was on, was a UK one. By no stretch of the imagination, could I decipher how this piece of news was relevant to me. It wasn't going to affect my life. It wasn't some legislation that might impact on my life. It wasn't something that was happening around me. So why report it? And I know, I know, the news doesn't revolve around me, but seriously, unless you were the victim, the victim's family or friends, or were conducting a study into crocodile attacks, I don't get why this was deemed 'news-worthy'.

I often have discussions with my children about various things, and one of the last ones I had was about this very subject. How, unless you go looking, the vast majority of the news is bad news. Now I've heard the excuse that 'good news doesn't sell', and quite frankly, I think that's a load of rubbish. Every person I have ever spoken to about the news has said more or less the same thing; 'God, the news is depressing'. I have never heard anyone express pleasure in reading about bombs going off or people getting stabbed, etc. And so me and my son were talking about this and we thought...well, what if it's all on purpose?

Now I'm not one to believe that the Illuminati run the world. Mostly because if they do, and they have a goal of some sort, well, they've been around for about 200 years, and are, therefore, doing such a piss-poor job of it, I don't think we have anything to be worried about. However, I don't have a problem with the concept of those in power wanting to 'keep us down'. That, I think, is well within the realms of possibility.

Imagine if every day, the news was good. Full of inspiring stories; stories of courage, people helping each other out, people being kind to animals, to the environment, good things happening. What kind of impact do you suppose that would have on us, as a whole? I think it would make most of us inspired too. We would see that awesome things are happening in the world and it would make us feel good about ourselves and our fellow humans. We might feel good enough to do something nice for those around us, those we pass on the street every day. I think it would make us feel hopeful.

So who would benefit from the opposite of all that? Who could possibly benefit from making society feel useless; hopeless - that we might as well accept that we live in a crappy world and there's nothing we can do about it. Who would benefit from that? The elite, right? After all, it's hard to start a revolution if the morning news makes you so disheartened that it's all you can do to get through the day.

In the discussion we had, we also touched upon the very strange way that negativity is seen as something, if not to be celebrated, then at least more 'rational' than it's polar opposite, positivity. Positive thinking is usually met with eye rolling and ridicule, and I find that so weird. It's similar to the way we are discouraged from an early age, not to think too highly of ourselves. Don't get me wrong - arrogance is not a good colour on anyone, but thinking, knowing that you are an awesome person? Why the hell not? We find it easy to compliment other people, but when it comes to bestowing the same on ourselves, even in the privacy of our own homes in front of the mirror - hell, even in the privacy of our minds, most of us see something 'wrong' with saying or thinking - you look great today!

I can't be the only person who finds this a little odd. Maybe it goes back to Christianity with the whole 'the meek shall inherit the earth' idea. Well, in the words of Frank Zappa, 'the meek shall inherit nothing'.

Be positive! Surround yourself with positive things. It's not burying your head in the sand to turn your face away from all the appalling news stories that bombard us every day; it's common sense. That's not to say ignore everything going on around you; of course it's in your interest, at times, to know what's going on in the world, but only to an extent. Seek out things that will inspire you, make you feel good about yourself; because when you feel good about yourself, I think you're more likely to do good for others. And hey, people may still mock the whole 'positive thinking' deal, but science is starting to back it up:

Scientific evidence points to importance of positive thinking

How the Power of Positive Thinking Won Scientific Credibility

The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work

Of course, for every 'positive thinking works' headline, there's a 'negativity is best' one to match it. I've read these and they seem to rely on the, in my opinion, wrong, supposition that optimistic people go about their lives thinking happy thoughts but never do anything further than that, therefore coming to the erroneous conclusion that being negative is best because negative people are more alert and more willing to work for their goals, whilst positivity leads to complacency.

I have never read a book about positive thinking which states that thinking is all there is to it. Positivity must envelop your whole life. It's not enough just thinking about good things (that's called 'hoping'), you have to believe in yourself, believe in your goals, visualise, have confidence, be prepared for opportunities that come your way, react accordingly and proportionately to events that happen in your life, let go of resentments and bitterness - in short, it's not just a 'thought', it's a lifestyle.

If the 'powers that be' control what is churned out to us as news, on our TVs, our radios, the internet, then let us take control at least, of how much attention we pay to it. 'Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative'. Skim through the news headlines, make sure WWIII hasn't broken out yet, and then focus on the good stuff. Don't let news stories that have no relevance to you, fill you with anxiety. The day is yours for the taking; you're alive. Feel that in every fibre of your being and don't give in to the illusion of helplessness and hopelessness that is thrust upon us at every turn.

The final word goes to Gordon B. Hinckley: "What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another's virtues more than we speak of one another's faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: "Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve."

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