Sunday, 20 July 2008

Negativity... Stay Away!!

Last weekend, I had a conversation with a good friend that initially started off as an interesting technical discussion and degenerated into what I can only term 'raw negativity'.

The negativity stemmed from my friend's 'firm' belief that a particular country that he had spend a significant amount of time in had made 'no progress in the last 50 years'. The transport system was very bad and no where near 'world class' standards.Inflation was high and there was rife unemployment. The medical system was no good because 'he had to wait' to get 'FREE' treatment at a government run hospital. When I pointed out that transport system was plagued by fare-evasion, his response was to 'get more ticket inspectors and issue fines'. Hey, what about doing the right thing and buying a ticket? From public transport, the next target was roads. We have 'only four lanes on highways', why doesn't the government 'break homes/ building' and put in six lanes? Why don't they build an underground tunnel? The latest freeway that had been inaugurated 5 months before time and under budget was 'useless' and 'should have been free'.

Gaah!! All this about a country and a system where he had migrated on his own accord, had striven very hard to become a citizen and had earned around a 100K a year. Unfortunately, I found myself arguing and defending the 'system' and the country. Unfortunate, more so because I was his guest and I do not believe in arguing with a host who has been so hospitable.

In hindsight, the conversation and the negativity stemming from it could have been avoided. The issue was not a country, its system or a person. It was the negativity that stemmed from a pointless discussion (my wife called it an 'argument') that had no productive outcome.

Let me clarify my stand a bit. I am critical of things but my criticism is objective. Rather than bagging an 'entire transport system', I would have preferred 'the service on this particular line is irregular'. My problem with such full-on negativity is that it tends to bring you down and make you also negative. Tomorrow, if I am using the same 'system' and am late for an appointment due to a train service being late or a traffic pileup, my thought will be, 'Yeah that guy was right'.This system is bad and I will conveniently forget, that I have seen worse and others have it even worse than me. Ultimately, I will become a negative guy. I will always end up criticizing people and things. I will never be appreciative of what I have, rather I will always crave for what I don't.

Life is not about negative things. It is about being positive. It is about riding the storm. It is about making the best of what you have. In my years on this planet, I have failed more than I have succeeded and in many cases, my failures have been due to circumstances out of my control. After each such failure, I could have either 'cursed my luck or the system that I was in' or try again with renewed vigor. I have always chosen to try again and let me tell you, It has always been a good option.

And on a parting note, my response to my misguided but good friend is that if you feel so negative about a situation, then do something about it. Stand for election, define the policies and make the World a better place.I am with you.

1 comment:

Michael said...

amen to that bro. Couldn't agree more and keep up the good posts !