Positive Thinking and Real Solutions
While their influence has to a large extent been reduced, there are still places where positive thinking gurus are prevalent.
The idea behind positive thinking is that the mind has powers, and that the mind applying these powers with positive thinking can change things for the better. That may be the case; but there are very profound problems with this attitude.
The biggest problem is that it teaches people blind optimism. Optimism is fine; blindness isn't. A much better form of optimism - a realistic optimism that is actually behind American thinking - is to say that problems have solutions. And that requires recognizing problems for what they are and solving them as what they are, rather than pasting over them and believing that everyone thinking positive would create a paradise on earth.
Global warming will not be solved through positive thinking; it will be solved through implementation of better technologies. The current idiocy in Congress will not be solved through positive thinking; it will be solved through confronting the scoundrels that are behind it. The debt will not be solved through positive thinking; it will be solved through implementing better fiscal policy. And further along the same line.
The problem is not with the "negative thinkers." The problem is with failing to see the problems for what they are and in failing to solve them as what they are. In many cases the people who are thinking negatively have a valid reason for doing it; and a person who is actually interested in improving life for people will consider such things and then work on creating real solutions.
Is positive thinking wrong? Not necessarily; but blindness is. And many efforts to do away with negative thinking are efforts that aim to sow blindness. If no one can say anything negative, then no one can articulate or address problems. And that means, that problems remain unsolved.
Rather than teaching positive thinking, it is much more valuable to teach discernment. One does not have to be negative; one has to see problems for what they are and work toward finding and implementing solutions. The more this is done, the fewer problems remain unsolved.
And that means: More real reasons for people to actually be positive.