Oct 18, 2010

"Everything our parents said was good is bad"

I took a Yoga class last week. Mind you, it was in the gym, so I was hoping that the bunter would be kept to a minimum. Little did I know that the teacher was not in a body mode, but in a spirit mode that day… And of course she was rumbling about positive attitude, almost advocating it as a cure for cancer.

Quoting Woody Allen ( “Annie Hall”) : “Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat... college.”

I think he did not mention my pet peeve -“positive thinking” only because at the time it was not so wide spread and the long term effects of it were not becoming that obvious. I think there are two ingredients that make positive thinking such a great sale (and could get quite damaging, when consumed excessively : ) : fake certainty and bright future. It smells so much like communism to me … :).

You see, I am not advocating seeing the glass half empty, when the liquid takes up 50% of the volume. What I do feel very uneasy about is when I see all too many, high on positive thinking, stare at an empty glass and seeing it half full…. This dangerous habit is scientifically proven to be correlated with death from dehydration! :)


  1. oy vey...I hear you, friend :)

    however, there is quite a lot of research showing that positive thinking does indeed change the internal chemistry in the body. Of course, we all know that research data can be interpreted many different ways...but still.

    i guess I feel ok with the positive thinking some days, when I am more playful and less resistant. If I can try to help myself that much, why not go for it? and on other days, I feel rather bitter, so it does not work that well. Life...

  2. I am not arguing that positive thinking is not able to change internal chemistry, but so can sugar, alcohol, tobacco and other mood enhancers.
    I think what is missing is a research on long term effects of positive thinking. It's probably not easy to conduct, but porbably not impossible.
    I think that positive thinking is like any other medicine (or substance for that matter): when used in approproate context in approporiate dosage - ti could do wonders. However, when abused - it leads to disasters!