It’s Positively Okay to be Positive

I like to think of myself as a pretty optimistic person. When some type of change is announced, whether it’s something in my life or something as general as a new shopping center opening in some city, my mind immediately jumps to thinking about the positives of it.

I choose to be optimistic towards changes, because I tend to trust people when their good intentions are outwardly shown. Maybe I’m too trusting, and that makes me a pushover. So be it. I feel society is grooming people to be automatically pessimistic and skeptical towards ALL things. That’s fine in certain situations. Skepticism and pessimism can be healthy when analyzing important decisions in the political, religious, civil, and community realms where things matter. However, when it comes to the simpler things in life like entertainment, sports, products, and other inconsequential things of that nature, why can’t we be optimistic until we’re shown evidence to make us pessimistic on an individual case-by-case basis?

Yes Buster, yes they would

Too many times on the internet (yeah, people being sad sacks on the internet. Shocker, right?), I see people just tear apart a movie or TV show and declare it trash based on a 30-second trailer or sneak preview. What? How the hell can you determine in those 30 seconds that this particular thing is going to be the worst thing ever made? It drives me crazy. Perfect recent example: Batman vs. Superman (get your groans out now or forever hold your peace). Before the movie even hit the public, it was getting panned left and right by film critics, comic book fans, mimes, nuns, all sorts of people. I saw the movie for myself, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t let the negative press get to me.

Now, I realize that maybe the negativity subconsciously lowered my expectations to a point where the movie could reach my now lowered standards. But if I listened to the bad reviews and chose not to see it, I would have deprived myself of a pleasant afternoon at the movies.

Another disappointing phenomenon I witness on the internet often is the pride and the eagerness to be contrarian. I see a lot of this when something gets hyped up, either online or in the national media, and there’s a buzz behind this hyped thing before it debuts or happens. I feel that people race to their keyboards to be the first dissenter towards whatever this thing is, the first to deflate the hopes and optimism of others who are genuinely excited. By doing that, they’re reserving their spot at the front of the “I Told You So” line. So, if the hyped thing falls flat and sucks, they were the all-powerful, omniscient being that warned us and we were too damn stupid to listen. I’m not sure if you have discovered this within your own online interactions or maybe I just frequent toxic communities where pessimism runs rampant and overrules optimism (looking at you, Internet Wrestling Community “IWC”).

Embrace the power of positivity y’all

What this all boils down to is: it’s okay to be positive. It’s okay to be optimistic. Don’t let society, whether it’s in-person or online, tell you that you should dislike this thing before it even happens. Maybe the better and more accurate tidbit of advice is: form your own opinion and let it play out. Don’t blow off something like a movie or a TV show because thousands of people scrutinized a 30 second trailer down to every flaw. If you let negativity influence your preferences, you could end up depriving yourself of great opportunities, entertainment, or just plain ol’ joy. We could all use more joy in our lives, so don’t remove yourself from a situation where you could receive that joy just because some contrarian troll on the internet told you it was garbage.

As a final note, if you’ve been questioning my positivity and optimism, the fact that I have been and I have remained a Detroit Lions fan for over 20 years should prove that I’m legit. Sorry, I couldn’t write a post about optimism and NOT include Lions fandom. We’re like the patron saints of optimism or something by now.

Statue of St. Monica, the saint mostly associated with patience. Also alcoholics which also covers Lions fans conveniently enough

Statue of St. Monica, the saint mostly associated with patience. Also alcoholics, which covers Lions fans conveniently enough as well

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