When “Positivity” becomes selfish patronizing…

I’m not a huge fan of the “Peace, Love & Light” brigade. You know the type…they post endless “inspirational” quotes on their Fakebook pages…and attempt to prove to a disinterested viewer, that they have gained a moral superiority simply because they know who the Dalai Lama is…and that they really do understand, appreciate and live by these fashionable quotes….thereby being at some greater level of inner peace and wisdom! Of course, when the shit hits the fan in everyday life, they more often than not show themselves to be just as reactive to common annoyances as the rest of us. But then…they don’t post the “real” stories…because that would be “negativity”…and heaven forbid that!

It’s actually become a fad, a style, a fashionable, lazy and fake way of impressing upon the ignorant, that you may be slightly less ignorant. To other disciples of the “Peace, Love & Light” brigade…these quotes gain you a status amongst the other pretenders, a cheap “like” and an even cheaper “Amen”.

A few days ago, a young guy here posted this on his Facebook page:

“A lot of the time, when I greet a customer at the bank and I ask them how they’re doing, they respond, “Not too bad.” Many do not notice that the phrase doesn’t mean that they’re good. In fact there is nothing positive about that phrase. They are more or less stating that they’re bad, but at a manageable level. How are we ever going to progress if we don’t even realise the negativity we’re projecting in our lives by our words. Change your thoughts, change your words, change your actions and everything else, in turn, will change around you.”

I don’t know this guy well, but he seems like a genuinely nice guy for the most part, good at his job, a talented photographer…and very popular. As a consequence, hundreds “liked” his status, and many commented with the usual clueless praise for his positivity and good sense!

My problem, and I expect to stand in a minority in this, is that he’s quite misguided in his philosophy.  In fact, his words are typical of the “Peace, Love & Light” brigade…and highlight exactly why it has become a very selfish philosophy.

Now, we know that “good customer service” has become an invitation for complete strangers to pretend that they actually care what the other thinks or feels. It should simply be about courtesy, professionalism and good manners…but this excessively PC world is not so simple anymore.

But, let’s say he really cared what this guy was thinking about: So why, rather than ask the customer if he could help in any way, or inquire further as to any issues…did he simply choose to judge and bemoan the impediment upon his own state of mind?

And that’s just selfishness. He has no idea about the lives of his customers. They could have just been diagnosed with cancer, lost a family member, lost a job, or just buried their child! An answer of “Not too bad” might be a real lesson in just how positive a person can be…under those unknown circumstances.

Let me be really pedantic and ask why he doesn’t get this eloquent and upset about the kids starving in the world everyday. Or, why he doesn’t suggest to cancer victims, rape victims or war refugees in Syria, that they “change their thoughts, words and actions etc”. We  simply have no idea what a stranger has been through…and if we don’t make the effort to find out…we shouldn’t judge. There are many people in this world who struggle everyday to stay sane under a barrage of circumstances. They are not fodder for your judgement of “negativity”…they are human beings.

Frankly, if your own “positivity” is so fragile that a simple phrase, uttered by another, can reduce your own “positivity” so simply…then you need to work on yourself. You may want to gain the base values of your philosophy whilst you’re at it. Most of all, make a real effort to not be so quick to judge another…that’s just bad karma and real negative maa’an…!

Better still, climb down off your high horse…and make a difference by your own actions…not by your stolen and self-stated words of wisdom. Verbal positivity is like prayer…it has never changed a single thing in the real world. Until it does…just stop patronizing everyone for your own selfish fulfillment!



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