WSJ: The Pessimism Reflex

In the Review section of the November 17/18 edition of the Wall Street Journal is a feature article titled “The Pessimism Reflex” by Matt Ridley. I found this particularly interesting as to how it relates to positivity, framing and true facts – topics we bring up in the YCISL workshop program.

Even in my last wiki entry – the one commenting on an article on “problems” with philanthropy – highlighted thinking that had a framing issue and lacked positivity. Makes me think of Grumpy Old Men.

With Mel Robbin’s mental handbrake analogy, it is too easy to be pessimistic. Pessimism is the handbrake that can easily reinforce the self-notion that there is something holding us back. And just like Malcolm Gladwell’s point about associating with greatness, there is also a tendency to associate with deprivation (the grass is always greener…).

And we can also understand the impact of pessimism through Alison Ledgerwood’s point about getting stuck in the negative.

We know in the adult world that pessimistic news goes around faster than optimistic news, and that spin and distorted reality becomes a part of the stream of norm – so it becomes an essential skill for youth leaders to train their senses to receive and feel pessimism, but to relay with positive actions and communications.

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