OH – Those Pesky Pessimists
As a grandmother (and a mother-in-law) I often see things that I don’t agree with. I sometimes find myself brooding and getting really mad (“what are they thinking? Huh?). I usually stay mad for a little while (anywhere from a few minutes to a full day!). But eventually, I try to see the kids’ viewpoint and I handle things accordingly from there. It’s only possible to get things done if I know the other viewpoint.I don’t have to agree with it, but I know and “get it.” Then we can move forward and make adjustments.
Recently I have become surrounded by people who are gloomy and doomy (depressed?) about their future. These people are ranting and raving about how the U.S. is going down in the dumps. They blog, write facebook messages, e-blasts, emails and articles about their concerns about the viability of the future raising of taxes, and the economic, political and physical safety of our country. They sit in coffee shops, at dinner tables, and at social gatherings and discuss the official demise of this country as we know it. In fact, they claim that due to the result of the election, we have no hope. To them, the cup is not just half empty, but almost completely empty – dry, and not very good to the last drop..
I have read remarks on social media and on emails that went to the tune of:
“We are doomed.”
“I’m moving to Australia.”
“Let’s all move to Antartica.”
“How about Israel?”
“Good thing I have my passport.”
“There’s no hope.”
“That’s it. Forget it. Our country is going in the dumps.”
Now, as someone who is usually pretty much of a worrier and an alarmist, these comments could very well frighten me. But the problem is that they annoy me. Big time. And it’s very hard to be annoyed and frightened at the same time. Those two emotions don’t work well together for me.
Not because I’m in denial. I’m not. I hear the complaints the people have. They are disillusioned. Upset, disappointed, and frustrated. They view the past four years as difficult, and they wanted someone different in the White House. People are very passionate about this; the country has become so polarized that people have been “un-friending” their former friends on Facebook, when they find out that said friends are on the opposite political party.
But here’s my question for these people:
Why do you put all your faith in one human being, to the point that you are all sad and hopeless because that human being was elected to be our leader? What about Congress? What about the people? This is a country where one person does not dictate the laws? There are three branches in the government, and it’s not one president who does it all.
When we just pout and say, “we’re doomed – that’s it,” isn’t that reaction that of a bunch of sore losers?
Now – if you need to be angry and upset at first, go do that – privately – not on facebook anymore.
But let’s please realize that this is the way it is. Stop the negativity and replace it with hope, optimism and support for what our leaders are doing. Ask questions, argue, debate if you need to. Work through that anger and turn it into something constructive. Get out there and help out. Reach across and do something good for this world. But don’t condemn. Don’t brood.
Don’t give up. Fill up that cup with water and start all over again. Look at things with rosier glasses, instead of dark and hazy lenses. Think of ourselves as standing behind our president, and reaching across the aisle.
Some say that this country has never been so polarized as it is now. Let’s try to change that. Here is a way one can change that tone, which is not helpful.
Hear another person’s viewpoint. If you agree, let them know. If you don’t agree, let them know, and then agree to disagree.
Take it from a grandmother – a Pollyanna non-Pessimistic Grandmother (trying to be optimistic and positive).
It works better for me, and may work better for our country as well.