The war against Negativity

In small pockets of the planet, enlightened individuals are warring against the forces of negativity. Those forces are not extra terrestrials, not figments of Science Fiction’s imagination, but they are real, and present in the everyday world, pervading every area of our lives with negative speech, back talk, bitching, and pessimistic predictions. Those fighting them are not using high-tech weapons. They use carefully executed words to overturn the power of the negative. Because the greatest sources of negativity are sadly, in the human mind and the human mouth.  

Many conversations with fellow Nagas end up in negativity. Bad roads, bad leaders, corruption and bribery in public offices, exhausted government resources – the list of negative themes seems endless. While these are facts, we never seem to be aware that our tirades against them do nothing to solve the problem. We need to stop speaking words of failure over our situation. All those words of criticism and negation do nothing to improve or solve things. Their contribution is perpetuating the things that we are frustrated with.

Negative speaking has become a way of speaking for us. And it hasn’t done us any good at all. It has taught us to look at the bad side of things so that when something genuinely good happens, our reaction is: Yes, but. Can we be so foolish? “Yes, but” is a response that is waiting for something bad to happen so that the good thing is leveled down. Can we work on deleting the ‘But’ tag and simply celebrate and rejoice if things are good? For example, when Kohima roads are being repaired and are such a joy to walk on, can we simply say, Hurrah for good roads! Can we resist the temptation to add, ‘But the rains will soon wash them away.’ It is like pronouncing a death-wish, like we want the good roads washed away, for heaven’s sake! When too many of us speak like this, the effect is toxic. The negativity we release from our mouths comes back to bite us in the rear.  

I know a woman who is a cancer survivor who has always maintained that God is her healer. She has survived several attacks of the big C. Yes, yes, there is another school of thought that maintains that it is not scientifically proven that a positive attitude contributes to curing cancer. But cancer survivors are walking around us proclaiming that their positive attitudes helped them toward the road to healing. Who should we choose to believe?  

I know some parents who think aloud and say their offspring won’t amount to much. And their words are coming true. How sad that they don’t know how powerful their attitude and their words are. At the same time there are children of encouraging parents who have been so positive about the career choices of their children that they have excelled in those choices. Which parent would you rather be?  

I have acquaintances that I studiously avoid because they use such negative words and responses that spending some minutes in their presence robs you of joy in life. You know the sort – they are either back talking about a neighbour or a mutual friend, or whining about their woeful life. Not much hope that things are going to improve for them in the near future, and certainly not if they keep talking that way.  

Negative speaking has been a community problem for a long time. We have all indulged in it from time to time. It probably began as a perversion of cultural teaching that says one should not be too happy in one’s happiness for we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. The perversion was to take this teaching to the extreme and speak only pessimistically about anything or anyone. However, and there is a however, if we want to things to change, we have to take charge over releasing more negativity into the environment. Shut up when we have nothing good to say. It will become a habit and we will see things turn around in our lifetime. Anyone can exercise this power to beat negativity.