Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Fallibility of Positive Thinking

As expected, school is severely curtailing my writing; be not afraid, because I'm still here!  I'll post at least once a week, when I find time.  And on that thought...

Words have power, as do emotions and ideas.  These things can influence others and even the world around us in ways we cannot comprehend.  But wishing will not always make it so.

Along the lines of "Smile or Die," too often we put faith in the power of reason or right.  "It'll all work out in the end," we assure ourselves.  We (at least, people my age) grew up with Disney princesses who were beautiful and just and always got the guy in the end while saving the kingdom, Power Rangers who were granted magical powers to do righteous battle with the slimy forces of evil, and our parents and teachers telling us "you can be anything you want when you grow up;" even Pokemon is a story about an ordinary kid beating the odds and saving the world from injustice.  And because we were kids the adults around us would have been foolish to let on that the world isn't always shiny and fair, because we would have thrown hissy fits.

But now I see people my age and older buying into the childlike delusion that "everything will be alright."  I don't mean to sound pessimistic; there is good in the world (I suppose depending on how you define "good"), and most people could benefit from a little positive thinking.  I accept the evidence for the placebo effect, and I believe that the right attitude can help you fight disease.  Well, its effectiveness has been demonstrated.  Many forms of Eastern Asian medicine talk about chi.  I call it the fifth element.  But if you have chronic bronchitis, or stomach cancer, or hepatitis, it's not a miracle cure.  Just thought I'd mention this.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you wish on that shooting star and click your heels together and imagine a better world, the world is not going to get better unless you get up and do something about it.

More thoughts on positive thinking (no pun intended)...

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