Rather than live in rose-tinted bubbles of positive illusion, we would do better to face reality. Whereas the Chinese do not score highly on American optimism scales, they are positive about the future, but only realistically so… …they are almost fanatically determined to wrest control of their fate from destiny, and to take responsibility for it. Put the two together and you have positive volition. To the extent that you have an (American) unrealistic, inaccurate notion of your capacities, or the likelihood of misfortune befalling you, you cannot change your experience or behaviour for the better to function more effectively and evade disasters; on a wider scale, nor can you alter the world you are in so that it is less harmful to you. Spin, at least on a personal level, is not going to be good for your emotional well-being, and calling realism depressive is a grotesque distortion of the truth.
Affluenza, Oliver James. Softcover editon 2007, Random House.
Pg 91: 5-17
Read Oliver James’ ‘Affluenza’ a couple years back and it really changed my perspective on life. Re-reading it at the moment in the hopes for a refreshed outlook. It claims to give readers the ‘vaccines’ to the ‘virus’ of living in third-world, Western society but I also count it as the anti-dote, one I think we desperately need to combat the current ‘positive thinking’ movement, which I find disturbingly unbalanced in practice. I’m all for having an optimistic outlook but I think the current ‘sun shines outta my ass’ philosophy that so many people seem to be practicing is dangerous. Oliver James just explains why, better.
“If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back , a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75 % of the world. If you have money in the bank, your wallet and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.”
This is a message I think we forget. _
I’d drown Bella Swan myself. She’d at least enjoy it.