Monday, September 10, 2007

Is there a problem with being too positive about everything?

That just hit me like a lightening rod just now.

I was reading some of the posts and comments on various blogs in the "Why most leadership sucks...." dialogue. Then I noted some of the blogs in my blogroll at Bloglines. The question that heads up this blog post is what hit me!

I may have to spend some time thinking some more about this but I so see this trend running rampant through certain blogging communities right now. It seems that many bloggers are writing about a particular concept called "Attraction".

Who started it is anyone's guess. The "Law of Attraction" has become something of a minor credo and faith statement for many bloggers. There is much exegesis being developed and refined in clarifying what it actually means to hold to the "Law of Attraction".

In a nutshell, the "Law of Attraction" implies that everything in the universe is a whole and that we are not indivisible or separate from everything else. Everything is enveloped ergo whatever you think is whatever you get as what you think will be reflected in the environment around you.

Christian theology screams that this is wrong of course but I don't think I'll go off on a tangent trying to prove or disprove the errancy of the attraction thinking thing from that stance. Even I have been caught up in the mindset of the "Law of Attraction". My mind is split into a warring tribe of two hemispheres on it though. I do tend to struggle with identifying what is purely selfishness in my wanting to "attract" certain things and what is genuinely healthy positive thinking.

Christians, on the whole, can be rather morose...(I have no idea why, not all of us are like this but the stereotype is warranted even so)... so anything that gets them to lighten up and get a grip on being joyful is a good thing. Still; there is something about the "Law of Attraction" model of being ├╝ber positive about EVERYTHING that seems to be a little naive and even perhaps a little dangerous.

We surely don't WANT to attract bad teaching, bad leaders, bad weather, bad Presidents or bad wars! But are these things going to change just through the process of our collective Pollyanna-ering? I don't think so!

People is people.

We are all of us...each and everyone of us...flawed.

One of the intrinsic issues with human beings is our sense of our SELF. We protect, nurture, invest and progress our SELF in the world much more than many of us care to admit. We assume ourselves to be gods in and of our own right and we nearly all of us think that everyone else "should" think the same we do about everything in our periphery of focus.

I do think there is a time to be subjective about our reality and I do also think that there must be times when we have to be objective about our reality. It's a question of balance sure. Some people caught in the objective reality trap tend toward being very cynical and too matter-of-fact to the point of unempathy. Some people also get caught in the trap of being so subjective about things they start to sound a little too other-worldy to be Real.

Of course this is just MY perspective on things.

It's GOOD to focus on the stuff that is lovely in our lives. We've done little of that in our past history as a modern culture. But its also WISE to not get too hung up on trying to see everything as a part of some hyper spiritual exercise in Subjectivism too. I didn't just "rez" this computer through attractive positive thinking... we bought it after long discusson on its merits with cold hard cash that we earned through very objective hard work.

I buy the occasional lottery ticket and can attract for all I'm worth, the the winning first division prize, but I rarely get it let alone any prize at matter how positively I think about it - (and many who follow "Law of Attraction" thinking would say that that argument is faulty anyway).

Sometimes it just feels damn GOOD to be grumpy and angry and full of "bah humbug" about everything that we haven't got or want or need!

As I said... People is People. We do as we do for our own interests despite all our nattering about doing it for the "good of all".

It's when we have a focus on a real Someone OUTSIDE of our SELF, and we forget to be so egocentric and all-knowing and all-seeing and approach life from the perspective of keeing it real in grateful acceptance and trust along with humble awe... then we tend to stumble on happiness in spite of everything bad that is currently happening to us. And yes... even Christians need to realise this too!


John W. McKenna said...


Not to be overly positive ;-) but this is a great post. You do not know how many times I have thought the same thing. I just didn't have a good concept title, Law of Attraction, to hang it on.

Expect to see a post on this in the near future.

Take care...



I can't beleive you haven't had more/any comments on this post. It is the best I've read this week.

Michelle said...

Gosh! The... "best you've read all week"?.... *blink*

That's wonderful praise John!

Thankyou :)

A close friend took issue with some of my points in this particular post so I don't know that I've actually got a good handle on what LOA is all about. But! :) I still find it a little too rose-coloured a lens all the same :)

And I'm used to being surprised by which of my posts here get comments and which don't *giggle* It's a constant source of amusement and delight to me to figure out which might draw comments.

John W. McKenna said...


Yes, the best...

Your post had insight. It wasn't a regurgitation of what everyone else is saying.

So many people moderate what they say, because they are fearful of what others might think. In doing so, they often moderate what they think and live poorer lives because of their actions. I see this often; particularly when the ones who find offense in what you are saying have the appearance of being “The Good Crowd”.

It takes courage to speak from a thoughtful position that does not reflect the Conventional Wisdom of the day. I encourage you to keep speaking from your thoughtful position.

Take care...


Viv said...

"Sometimes it just feels damn GOOD to be grumpy and angry and full of "bah humbug" about everything that we haven't got or want or need!"...

It doesn't necessarily feel GOOD to be grumpy.. but it's a heck of allot easier for most.. then to smile and be positive in their lives when they feel that everything around them is falling apart.. and then for most to lie about their lives just to put themselves up on a higher pedestal in the eyes of others around them.. so whom ever is subjected to their lies on a daily bases then has the chore of trying to figure out..'is this another lie or is this the actual truth'.. I don't think any person has the right to frustrate another when trying to get that person to make themselves feel better for maybe 5 minutes out of their day.. if we need to be congratulated on a daily bases then maybe we should start doing things to be congratulated for and not making up stories just to get that same warm feeling.. Besides when its untruth.. that warm fuzzy feeling doesn’t last as long as if you actually did do whatever it was you were being congratulated on.. Same goes for sympathy towards others.. I can never get over how much others need sympathy from people they don’t even know.. and again does it really make you feel better asking for sympathy for something that never happened?! Or do we really need that 5 minutes of attention, whether we deserve it or not?!

Me, I would rather feel positive then negative.. because I see what happens around me when I generate negativity...but some days it just doesn't seem to work out.. we call those bad days..and sometimes having a friend say "I am here if you need me".. can make me feel all that much better.. especially if I know that friend isn't there to judge me.. but she/he also knows they don't need to second guess me either...

Cre8ivemom said...

I agree with Law of Attraction.. & Im a Christian.. Curious as to what you have chosen to base your views on Christians..& how you came to the conclusion that most are straight up grumpy? Im genuinely not trying to be defensive.. but Im really trying to understand the constant brow beating?

Cre8ivemom said...

I believe in the Laws of Attraction and Im a Christian. Curious as to where you developed your concept of Christians...& why you feel the above to be true? I know so much can be lost in "translation" of the text..I ask non-defensively.. & ponder what was the basis upon these concepts of Christians being formed. If you are open to this discussion, please do not pacify me.. I long to know.