Positivism is an euphemism for denial. Whenever something sucks and someone advise you to adopt a more positive oultook, they are actually saying that you should find ways to not think too much about the situation you are in. It undoubtebly has its uses because sometimes, shifting your thoughts around to see the big picture or in the long run can truly help one realize that the whole issue is not that bad. However, I believe that it is nowaday overused to hide away problems that we are too lazy to act upon or too scared to tackle. Let’s face it: when something sucks, the course of action should not be positivism but rather to ask ourselves the following question: can it be acted upon? Most of the time yes but when the answer is no, then it becomes advantageous to adopt a positive attitude.
I recently came about hearing in a radio program of a couple whose last child was mentally deficient and I was amazed by the mechanisms they had devised to not think too much about it. They lived on planet “Kelly”, which is a planet full of adventures and where every day was different. To make a long story short, they had over the years tricked themselves into believing that this child was actually a blessing and one of the best things that had hapenned to them. Sure, but you know what? A mentally retarded child is probably one of the worst things that could occur in anyone’s life (with exceptions of course). There is absolutely nothing good about having a retarded kid; it genuinly sucks. Does this mean these people should stop the lie now and come back from that crazy planet? No, simply because there is nothing (ethical) they can do about this situation and it is much better to live in that sort of denial than to be unhappy for the rest of your life. After a while, it also tranforms you. This also holds true for cancer and other afflictions for which wishing them away simply does not work and no action except that of time can cure the problem. It has been medically proven that keeping a good spirit significally increases your chances of survival.
However, most troubles in life can be sorted out with a little bit of action, decision and audacity and the first step towards resolution is to actually get rid of this mask of denial so we can see with our own eyes that the situation is indeed awful. Put differently, an effort has to be deployed in order to let the incomfort necessary for an action to occur take over. Humans are naturally undecisive creatures, especially when it comes to issues that will affect the status quo of our confortable lives; positivism is just another way of hiding this fact.