Yes We Can’t
I read this article a little while back that talked about some testing they had done where they asked a bunch of people to refrain from saying any negative words for one full day. Seems easy, right? Just say nice things and be affirmative. You don’t have to smile or physically help anyone out, just say nothing negative for 24 hours. What they realized is that more than half of most people's days are spent on negativity, which meant for this test, they spent more than half of their day silent.
Basically, it’s a lot easier to be negative. It’s easier to rally around something when you’re mad at it. We take a lot of the normal, positive shit for granted. But when we’re feeling negative towards something or someone, we want to recruit and have everyone feel the same. It starts the second we get out of bed. Just turn on the TV every morning and pick your news channel to get your early dose of negativity. Find out what racial slurs where written on your local synagogue, who got shot at the playground, or who’s in the process of getting a divorce because they tweeted a photo of their dick. I try to sneak in a few minutes with the volume down real low waiting for the day’s weather forecast, but once my kids get up I have to switch the channel. I’m not trying to explain to my 4 or 7 year old daughter what the word ‘rape’ means, at 7am. That’s the last way I want to start my day.
At 9am, I walk out my door only to be
In this day and age shit is not that simple. Maybe we all have to try to "fake it" a little.
confronted by a group on my train platform screaming how God is the devil, and how ‘the Man’ is holding us all back. Even though I don’t believe that, I wasn’t really trying to fuck with this crew, so I just sat back and listened. Maybe people feel that hating on things is what tough guys do, so talking shit makes them tough. And complimenting or being positive is associated with the passive or weak. Maybe it’s a survival thing. I see a lot of that in NYC, and bigger, urban cities when I travel.
Maybe being some carefree spirit makes you vulnerable, or it puts you out there as an easy target? And contesting or opposing everything and everyone puts you out there as someone aggressive and not to mess with?
You have a choice... To be optimistic or pessimistic; to be positive or negative. It’s pretty obvious that people who have a good attitude lead a better life, right? And no one likes to hang with someone who’s a downer and shits on everything they see, hear or touch. To me that’s poison. So why do we all do it? Shouldn’t we strive to have that feeling of goodness and delight? That feeling you think you’d feel if you won the lottery?
That’s it!.. Being rich. That must be the answer to an everlasting positive attitude. I know that sounds naive on
my part, but honestly, a part of me thinks that would be the answer for me. Obviously no amount of money in the world would keep you happy if you or a loved one is sick, but if my family and I were healthy and rich, I feel like I wouldn’t have a bitter bone in my body. Rainbows would be shooting out of my mouth (and ass) at all times. So why are a lot of the rich such dicks? Even though Biggie said, ‘mo money mo problems’, I don’t think that’d be the case for me. I live good, but not having to worry about saving for my family’s future would be a fucken treat that would keep me skipping through life, high-fiving anyone in my path.
Again, that’s just me, but for the rest of the world, I think positivity equates itself to perfection. And no one likes someone who comes off as having the perfect life because we all know our lives are far from it. So when someone rolls up with a smile all the time, we assume they must be faking it, hence, positivity also equating fakeness. And no one likes a faker.
I don’t have the answers, and we all know it’s super fucken hard to keep that smile going 24/7. In this day and age shit is not that simple. Maybe we all have to try to ‘fake it’ a little. Our everyday words and actions are the groundwork for our path in life. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” And mom always said, simply, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Why don’t we listen?
Words: Tony Arcabascio
Design: Johan "Sika" Lundström