For most of my life, people have accused me of having a negative attitude. I can understand why this label has stuck with me because I do tend to have a dim view of things. But my argument against this accusation is that I’m not negative, I’m merely logically objective. Let me explain.
If you walk out your front door, look up at a beautiful blue sky, and see a tiny white cloud in the distance, then turn around and grab your umbrella, that’s being negative. However, if you walk out your front door, look up at a dark gray, ominous sky, hear thunder clapping, watch lightening flashing and the smell of rain is in the air, and then turn around and grab your umbrella, that’s being logically objective.
When you weigh evidence or circumstances carefully and ultimately come up with a conclusion, how could this be labeled negative? Is it my fault if careful scrutiny of various situations results in a negative conclusion? Should I ignore the facts and look at the world through rose-colored glasses?
I’ve had this conversation with two of my fellow workers. They both share an interesting philosophy. With every situation they face in life, they keep their expectations low. Consequently, they can never be disappointed—or so they say. But when a particular situation exceeds their low expectations, they consider it a windfall or bonus. Can you even imagine what it might be like facing life every day expecting the worst of everything?
My conversations with these colleagues have made me revisit my logically objective theory. Examining my attitude carefully, it’s hard for me to deny that maybe, just maybe I’ve been playing the semantics game. And there is such a thing as a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, perhaps if I ignored the dark clouds and thunder and lightening and the smell of rain, and tossed my umbrella in the dumpster, the menacing clouds just might yield to blue skies and lovely sunshine. Hmm. I think I’m going to give this a try. But don’t expect miracles. My umbrella has been a loyal companion for years and the thought of losing such a reliable comrade does cause me considerable angst. Can I hang on to my poncho—just in case?