The other day, I was escorting a mild-mannered colleague to the elevator while ranting about certain cretinous individuals I work with. He interrupted me in mid-curse with “You shouldn’t complain Sara. You should stay positive. Do you know how many people in the world are suffering right now?” Needless to say, his family is currently searching for his remains while I am left wondering when this non-negative trend erupted.
I get that it would be lovely to be happy all the time, to exist in a kind of Stepford wife stupor where one is eternally placated and tickled by every drain pipe that spills excrement on them. Yet know this: Life doesn’t work that way. I don’t know where these people were in Kindergarten but I distinctly remember the teachers showing us smiley and sad faces when trying to teach us about emotions and not picking our noses in public (at least I retained part of that lesson).
Even on social media, many are often berated if they dare to share a negative or angry opinion. Since when were only half of our emotions kosher? What’s so taboo, wrong or catastrophic with being angry, sad, or miserable? Of course, this is not to say that if you see someone out on a ledge, you shrug it off as ‘oh he’s just having bad day’. There are levels of depression and rage that warrant immediate action, however mildly wishing a colleague would catch a treatable STD does not fall in that category.
It’s completely unrealistic and inhuman to want to avoid negative vibes or emotions. It’s the same with friendships; friends who never fight are not real friends. You need to overcome the uncomfortable hurdles of hurt before you can relish in rainbow days of bliss ahead. If it weren’t for our negative emotions, we might never overcome negative things or behaviours that plague our lives.
Ultimately, trying to avoid negativity is like trying to avoid going to the bathroom. It’s unpleasant but absolutely necessary; otherwise you truly would be full of shit.