2019 Resolution: Rejecting the Tyranny of Positivity
This year, we learned we have fewer than 15 years to prevent catastrophic climate change. We saw suicide rates rise at a rapid rate and watched journalists experience an unprecedented degree of abuse. When the news is overwhelmingly depressing, we find ourselves saying things like, “Just be positive – things will be alright” – or worse, “It doesn’t do any good to get upset.”
A positive outlook that turns a blind eye to pain and difficulty espouses two dangerous ideas: First, it implies that anger or sadness are wrong emotions that we should avoid. Second, it implies that we bear no responsibility for the state of things.
So, what’s the alternative? If we choose to turn and look our pain square in the eye, where does it leave us? If we decide to take responsibility for our culpability, what does that mean?
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