It is alarming to note the large number of negative stories flooding local, regional and international news. In fact, if one were to tune into the daily fare being dished out by some media houses, one would surely suffer “informational indigestion”. Reports of violence, crime, social deviation, political misdeeds and environmental disasters are par for the course. Added to these are frightening financial forecasts being bandied about.
In Barbados, this type of news has found its complement in a litany of complaints. Daily, members of the public object – albeit with good cause – the costs and standards of products and services, for instance. And politicians either bemoan the sad circumstances in which they operate, or belittle and deride any and all proposals put forward by those on the opposite side of the fence.
This sad state of affairs is unfortunate, since focusing on the negative will do more harm than good. It is true that individuals have the right to access all types of information, the right to criticise within reason and the right to agitate for change. It is also fair to say that hiding from the truth and hoping for the best is never a wise choice. However, it is also unwise, useless and self-defeating to immerse oneself in negativity or repeatedly harp on about challenges – moreso if you fail to bring even a partial solution to the table.
Instead, focus on the positive. Surround oneself with uplifting forces. In this time of apparent gloom, look always on the brighter side; for it will help to shape one’s reality. Thoughts are the impetus for words, words give rise to actions, and actions eventually lead to the moulding of character and how one is perceived and interacts with others. So, by thinking positive thoughts, one could influence immediate environments and personal destinies.
Those who espouse on the virtues and means of self-enlightenment would also tell that energy does not dissipate, it transfers; so positive energy would spread to others just as negative energy does. Thus we get terms like “peer pressure” and “group mentality”, which speak to this phenomenon. Based on this, every resident in this country should make it their personal mission in life to “think positive thoughts”.
One obvious technique in reaching this goal would be to focus on achievements rather than disappointments. For instance, persons should refrain from complaining about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and be thankful that this country provides health care to its citizens, especially in light of the lack of similar health care in countless other states. Furthermore, plans are on the cards to improve local health care facilities and services. Government’s efforts thus far in maintaining, and in some instances improving, the quality of life of several Barbadians during its short tenure should also be lauded, not ridiculed. There are many new homeowners and parents who would agree, after benefiting from government housing programmes and
the incentive that provides free-bus rides for schoolchildren on Transport Board buses.
These are just two alternate perspectives to issues that frequently raise the ire of the public. There are endless others, all it takes is an attitude change and a willingness to see the glass as half full.