Community//

Positivity in a Seemingly Negative World

nothing more than one's life perspective

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t hear, see, feel, experience some aspect of negativity. Why is this? And why is it so difficult to stay positive in this seemingly negative world?

Before we begin spiraling downward into this view of life let’s get real for a minute. Exactly what is negativity as applied towards life or this world? One definition of negativity is, “the expression of criticism of or pessimism about something”. Another is, “to deny the truth, reality, or validity of.”

From these two definitions it should be easy to understand that negativity or the experiencing or expressing of negativity is based on a person or group’s definition of the truth, or better stated their truth.

Negativity is nothing more than an expression, verbal, through action or otherwise, that is contrary to what we the individual or collective hold as true. It doesn’t mean it isn’t true, it just means it is not in alignment with what we hold as true, just or moral.

The challenge in today’s world is how bombarded most of us are due to 24/7 newscasts/podcasts, social media, etc. with information dealing primarily with human difficulties, suffering and injustices. As a result, it has become easy to adopt this information as all pervasive and therefore be a true representation of the world at large.

I am not saying the issues we see broadcast across the globe are not happening or don’t need attention. What I am saying is that most of the experiences we see across the globe are not happening to us individually or directly, although they do impact us collectively because of our connection as humanity.

However, what we see and hear coming through the various sources of media or from one person to another is a perspective based on the understanding and/or needs of the person or entity making the declaration, all or none of which might be true.  

Alfred Einstein is famously credited with stating,” “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

Einstein believed that how the question was answered resulted in how life was experienced. If the answer was hostile, the focus and therefore the experience would be one of hostility or conflict. If the answer was friendly, the focus and therefore the experience would be the goodness of life.

I don’t think there is any doubt that where we place our focus results in the object of our focus becoming prevalent. We become more aware of events and circumstances in the world that would support our perspective. The more supported our perspective the tighter we hold on to it.

Shakespeare said something similar when he stated, “there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” If you think the universe is friendly, it is. If you think the universe is hostile, it is. If you think the world is negative, it is. If you think the world is positive, it is. The world is neutral and merely responds to our thinking. (believing)

A question that surfaces for me around so-called negativity in this world is, “is it negativity that we see and feel in this world or is it apathy?” Have we become so conditioned to the atrocities, natural disasters, human suffering and injustices we have become apathetic? Are we apathetic because we feel there’s nothing we can do to change it?

“The imminent danger lurking for humanity is not just what people think, say or do, it is the becoming so numb to it we accept the negative or destructive as the new status quo and therefore do nothing.”

This isn’t to imply that terrible events and conditions don’t exist, or that we turn a blind eye and act as if they don’t. Rest assured those directly impacted experience and bear the brunt of the events. However. If those who read this reflect on their own life, they will realize their life experiences fall more on the side of the friendly universe than the hostile.

If most of us can truthfully state that life has been for the most part “friendly”, why is the appearance of the “hostile” more pervasive? Again, I will point to our focus based on what is put in front of us through the various means of communicating in today’s world, primarily social media. Never have we been able to reach, and therefore influence, so many people instantaneously and continuously.  

We too easily buy into headlines without getting the full story or we accept what someone else states as true because we trust the other person, or it is just easier than thinking for oneself. We give in to “group think” without consideration to what we truly believe and why we believe it. 

Is the world more negative or has the voice of negativity become louder? Is the vocal minority overshadowing the silent majority? Speak up on behalf of all that is good and do not lend your voice to the negative.

Maybe the perception of more and more negativity is not negativity at all. Maybe it is nothing more than dissatisfaction with our personal life. Maybe we thought we would have accomplished more, experienced more, been further along, gained more, etc. in life up to this moment in life.

What if our feelings and emotions have nothing to do with the outside world, but everything to do with how we feel our individual life is unfolding? What if the real negativity is an inside job that has become more pervasive because we refuse to acknowledge and accept responsibility for our own life and therefore cast blame outside of our self because it is easier.

How then do we live in the “friendly universe” while co-existing in the “hostile universe?” First and foremost, answer the question posed by Einstein? If your life perspective is one of waiting for the proverbial second shoe to drop, ask why? If your life perspective is that of the “friendly universe”, ask why? It is in questioning our beliefs that our truth is revealed.

The questioning of one’s beliefs is not to prove oneself or anyone else wrong, or to cause doubt. It is to get to the truth which we know shall set us free. A caveat for the “friendly universe” is the potential for burying one’s head in the sand while ignoring the challenges life presents. Life has and will continue to encourage and embolden us through its challenges.

Secondly, realize that everything that happens in life is an experience of life, nothing more, nothing less. Life is an equal opportunity experience. It provides exactly what is required when it is required for the fulfillment of life’s purpose. What happened does not determine what will happen. What happens is dependent upon our response to what happened.

“What happened doesn’t matter, what matters is what happens.”

from The Key to LIFE;living in full expression

The perceived pervasiveness of negativity is life providing what is required as it is required. The rise in negativity is necessary for the purging and cleansing that is so badly needed. We can only change that which we create and acknowledge. It is in acknowledging and accepting responsibility individually and collectively for the negativity in the world that the change we desire takes place.

Third, we are always at a point of choice. Regardless of circumstances, we choose what we allow in our lives. We choose what we read, hear, think and ultimately believe. We choose how we interpret information or experiences. We choose the people with whom we associate. Choose wisely.

Fourth, be cognizant of your beliefs, the resultant consequences and the correlation between the two. If your experience of life is not reflective of the life you desire, change your perspective of life to one that supports that life. Make choices and take action aligned with that life perspective. In so doing, you will co-exist in the friendly universe as those who choose the hostile perspective live in the hostile universe.

Fifth, it is not our responsibility to change other’s perspectives, in truth we can’t. When we attempt to change another’s perspective, we are telling them they are wrong. People tend to defend themselves when told they are wrong. The more they defend, the stronger the energy towards the negative, thus reinforcing it.

The key is not to engage in the debate. Seek instead an understanding of their perspective, make them feel heard, which often results in an opening to new ideas and information.   

In summary, how do we remain positive in a perceived negative world? Acknowledge it exists and that we are all party to it. Question our personal world view and beliefs and whether they support the friendly or hostile universe.  Work to change our world view to one that is empowering and supportive of the life we individually and collectively desire to create and live.

Accept responsibility for the world in which we live while being the change we desire to see. Be a good person and acknowledge the good in others while acknowledging the pervasive goodness in the world.

“The more our individual and collective light shines,
the more the dark recedes.”

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash
Community//

Authenticity, Not Just Positivity

by Victor Ung
remain positive in a negative world
Community//

How to Remain Positive in a Negative World?

by Luke
Community//

Is Positive Thinking Positively Bad for You?

by Kim Korte

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.