Is Negativity Needed?

moon.jpgDon’t get me wrong; I’m all for looking on the bright side. But have you ever noticed… without the dark side, there can BE no bright side?

As Election Day edges closer, there’s an awful lot of negativity brewing. At first people seemed to thrive on pointing out how Candidate Obama didn’t do this, or Candidate McCain mismanaged that.

But now… I’m getting the distinct sense that people from both sides are just tired of hearing the criticism.

We know that the state of our country’s finances is grave. We know that something needs to change in order to fix it, and everything else that’s been or will be affected.

As the Obama campaign aptly points out, “It’s time for Change.”

But now we’ve got to figure out WHAT to do differently. And we can ONLY do that by exploring what we didn’t do right before.

Let’s get back to talking about negatives. Everybody says “Don’t be a pessimist; don’t be a downer.” But the opposite is the “Pollyanna” attitude, and we all know that Pollyanna lives in a fantasy world.

If you had to choose between constant negative feedback or no feedback at all, which would you choose? I see myself as an optimist, but I’d take the denigration. Why? Because I know I screw up. I stub my toe and fail. Those are facts. We all make mistakes.

Pointing out the mistakes, the uglies, the “Needs Improvements” in our lives isn’t wrong or bad. It’s needed if we want to be better and stronger.

I like feedback whether I’m doing well or poorly. Both play an important role in my life. When I’m screwing up and nobody says anything to me anymore, it’s because they’ve given up and are no longer paying attention. I’d rather hear the disparagement than not even be on people’s radar screens.

Another great point about feedback. Imagine if the only things anybody ever said to you were positive. Would you start to suspect that people weren’t being honest with you? Or that maybe people thought you couldn’t handle the truth?

What about our nation? Are we a people who can’t handle the truth… so we need to be lied to, and we lie to each other, pretending that everything is just the way it should be? Or are we a country who can come together in times of trouble, face our problems squarely, and solve them one by one?

How about you? How do you feel about “negative feedback?” Are you averse to criticism? What ways can you think of to make criticism constructive instead of destructive? Do you think our government leaders can learn to do the same?


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