Sunday, July 09, 2017

Responsibility And "Positive Thinking"

When I was seeing a counselor, she told me that I needed to take responsibility for my life. When I told her what I wanted to do with my life, she said that I was being grandiose. So let me get it straight. You tell me to take responsibility for my life and then you tell me how to live my life? And you call yourself a counselor?

Some nerve have these people blathering on about responsibility. They poison the planet; defund the academia; gut the educational system; bust the federal budget; bequeath their children a toxic hell; and then they go on about responsibility? I would take talk about responsibility from someone who is actually doing responsible things. I will not take that from someone who is leaving the world a worse place than she has found.

The approach that this person was advocating is precisely the wrong approach at this time. We are facing all sorts of major problems. A person who focuses on such things will be seen as being grandiose, as not taking responsibility for his life, and as being negative. Yet these problems require our undivided attention. Which means that what that counselor was saying was not only wrong, but precisely wrong. It was the opposite of what needed to be said and done.

When I was talking to a New Age guru – whom I respect as a person, but whose ideas I do not – about my concerns regarding the world, he asked me, “And why does this matter to you?” Why does this matter to me? Why does this matter to me? What kind of a ridiculous question is that? These things better matter to you. If they do not matter to you, then you are a scumbag. They matter to me because I am a human being, and I live on Earth, and I refuse to let the world go to hell while I am here.

Some changes that people make are for the better. Others are for the worse. Many of these people think that they have improved themselves; but I have seen the opposite. They started out as caring and compassionate, and they wound up as short-sighted and careless. They let the world go to hell on their watch. So that when gen-Xers describe baby boomers as the worst generation, they may not necessarily be completely off mark.

“Well, you need to work on yourself before you work on anyone else.” Once again, whatever work these people have done on themselves has had a negative rather than positive effect. It took away their principles. It took away their compassion. It took away their ethics. It took away the good values and good intentions with which they have started. The work that I did on myself pursuant these people's instruction did absolutely nothing for me until I turned my life over to Christ.

Then there is the claim that good self-esteem makes good people and bad self-esteem makes bad people. Bullshit, bullshit, thousand times bullshit. As a woman from World War II generation said, “Self-esteem used to be called conceit”; and yet it is her generation, not baby boomers, that is now held in highest regard. In fact a credible case can be made that it works in the opposite direction. If you have low standards for yourself, you will find it easier to feel good about yourself than if you have high standards for yourself. Rewarding self-esteem does not reward any kind of personal good. It rewards low standards.

“The desire to save the world is a front for wanting to rule it.” I do not seek to rule anyone at all. I seek to influence thought in better directions. Many of the people who are in the business of ruling the world have no interest in saving it, and many of the people who want to improve things have no power ambitions. This claim is an utter lie.

“Romantic love is about seeking external validation.” No it is not. It is not about what I feel about myself; it is about what I feel about the other person. I can validate myself all day long. It does not change what I feel for the people I love. Maybe if all you care about is yourself this is the conclusion that you will reach. I however have better values than that.

"All you can change is yourself." More foolishness. People change all sorts of things and all sorts of people in all sorts of directions all the time.

So they are advocating positive thinking as a solution to everything. Positive thinking does not solve shit. Real problems require real solutions. Being positive may make you attractive to people who see only the front, but it will not solve the world's problems. Global warming requires real solutions. Gender relations require real solutions. Positive thinking does not begin to accomplish that. All it does is make you feel good about yourself while you are letting the world go to hell.

Yes, I was myself once attracted to some of these ideas. I wised up. However positive these people become, that will not solve the world's problems. However positive I try to be, that will not solve the world's problems or even my problems. Positive thinking is not even a better solution than Communism. Their solution is not an improvement upon what has existed before; it is a degradation. It teaches people to be short-sighted and careless. And that is bad news for everyone.

I have known any number of positive thinkers who wound up in terrible situations. The reason was that their naïve optimism blinded them to reality. They kept falling for false fronts of salesmen and players who pretended to be good people but were anything but. Their positive outlook did not lead them to better lives. It lead them into terrible situations.

There have also been many people in history – from Dostoyevsky to Winston Churchill – who were of negative temperament but achieved great things. Russian people are generally negative in their outlook, but Russians won the Second World War, put the first man in space, created amazing literature and music, and for four decades credibly rivalled America for leadership of the world. Whereas positive thinking in and of itself creates only a bunch of neon balloons who may or may not be successful but are usually full of crap and completely in denial of all sorts of important things. Some people who think positive become successful; others do not. Some people who are of negative mindset become successful; others do not. As for me I have no interest in either positive or negative thinking. I have interest in real thinking that actually stands to solve the real problems that we now face.

"You are negatively impacting reality with your negativity." You are impacting reality far more negatively with your blind plunder of nature. All that negativity can do is spoil someone's mood; whereas harm realized through plunder of nature is lasting and real.

As for responsibility, it is not correctly defined as having a Hummer and a huge house. It is correctly defined as leaving the world a better place than you have found it. The people such as the above have left the world a worse place on their watch. And however positive they become, that does not correct for that wrongdoing.


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