How to Stay Positive Without Being Absurd

Often when I post about something that seems wrong in politics, somebody comments that I shouldn’t be so negative. By focusing on the negative, I’m going to be produce more negative things, goes the argument.

I understand the point. It’s certainly true that thought and matter interact on a subtle level, more subtle than any of us likely understand. Still, I think this is a dangerous argument and the reason spiritual thinking gets dismissed easily.

Yes, let’s visualize the world we want and radiate love for all beings. Absolutely. Pray, meditate, chant. But while doing that, we gotta keep our feet on the ground.

If you have a leak in your roof, you have to patch the leak. You don’t need to curse at the leak or get angry. Stay positive and bring humor and mindfulness and love to patching the leak. But telling yourself that there is no leak – because admitting there is a leak is somehow going to create more leaks – is not positive. It’s absurd.

If the administration ignores climate change completely, endangering literally every being on earth, thinking about love for all beings alone is probably not going to fix the problem. Sure it contributes to good things. But even better would be using those positive thoughts to fuel positive actions.

The key is finding a middle way – to do things everyday that celebrate the vast beauty all around us and then taking that joy and doing something to help fix things – volunteer, talk about climate change, donate, call your senator. It’s not an easy balance to strike, but it’s an essential one, at least as far as I can tell.

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