Far from being positive, this is our most oft quoted rationalization for maintaining the status quo. It is an extolment I have come to suspect. A dismissive phrase we use, when we don’t want to revaluate, revise or rethink, these two words are very handy as a polite way of telling others to shut up and keep going. Come on, think positive, don’t rock the boat, and don’t force us out of our comfortable inertia now, is what we are really saying.
Of course there are times when it is very critical to be positive. In times of ill health, God forbid; in moments of performance related anxiety; even during stressful events calling for forbearance but these two words have been appropriated for misuse by some extremely lazy, rigid and insensitive quarters.
The organization is mulish over redundant staff welfare practices, please be positive. The government would rather not do some self-examination and correction; everyone should learn to be positive. A superpower will not have any other nation pursuing nuclear autonomy; countries maintain your positive drift. Should some family members feel their needs are not being met, they ought to practise positivism.
A call to stay positive obviously then, automatically rules out the work involved in redrafting, upgrading, reformulating. Truth be told, we don’t think hard and question enough in our country and as a people. Perhaps it has something to do with our belief in the theory of ‘karma’. There is a calm, typically Indian acceptance of the way things are. All pointers in fact, do prove that we are genetically wired to stay positive.
We are capable of this state of nirvana anywhere and everywhere. Watch us gazing on motionless over accident victims by our roads. Observe how we stand by passively as our public servants bungle and loot us. We are not raised to assert ourselves and therefore do not protest when the media goes diarrhoeal over the cricketing passion in our country. No one turns a hair as scam after scam emerge, riding roughshod over us.
Questioning, doubting, expressing misgivings, pointing out possible warts is all bad form with us, as a race. This free spirited slant displays a corroded, unhappy and evil soul that is clearly not counting its blessings, as far as we are concerned. We are so content to stare at the glass half full, it hasn’t occurred to us that if we shifted gaze to the other half, we would have figured out how to fill it up to the brim by now.
Be positive indeed!