Yin-yang is often the counter-argument against pure positivity. But truly understanding yin & yang makes you see that misapplying it to 50/50 is wrong — the meaning is to have Balance. But enough with ancient philosophy.
Nowadays we know that narratives and our inner-talk are shaped by the complex environment we are in. Our deliberate efforts can improve us — and we can deliberately attempt being entirely positive.
Even the most devestating storylines can be shed light on:
1. The rise of authoritarianism and polarization
The most negative current trends is the chaos in political & geopolitical landscape. Election of Trump, the reaped reward of China’s long-term game, the vulnerability of open Internet and Liberal Democracies.
All this can be seen in positive light. I have enough examples for myself, and you can form your own.
Ex. Trump showed how outdated most of Representative Democracy is, China is showing (some positive) alternative ways of governing society (although in my worldview: net negative), the vulnerability of social media will lead to Identity Verification, which will enable more trust > intelligence > well-being.
2. Nuclear weapons exist
.. but we didn’t blow ourselves up during Cold War — and the probability that we blow ourselves up in the future is reduced considering we didn’t do it for so long in the past (common sense + articulated in probability theory as Lindy Effect by Nassim Taleb. Also, since 1970s — no more than 7 states got access to nuclear weapons.
3. Climate Change will bring lots of innovation
The world is gathering more and more around the topic. Belt and Road initiative is completely unnecessary — the greenest thing to do is not build it.
As we are all effected by it, we will push more and more combating it. The trend to social entrepreneurship has heavily accelerated past decades.
Carbon Removal Technologies, Renewable Energies, Sustainable Consumption and much else are positive trends so climate change might not become a serious problem.
4. Social collapse might never happen
The acclaimed “inevitable” collapse of societal institutions (in part fueled by above trends) might not happen, as with Lindy Effect, doomsday predictions has existed for millennia (god-made til 1800s, then capitalism & politics) but we are still here in 2019 — which assumes we will navigate future difficulties as well. This said, we should never discount the risk and danger of such tail-event and continue acting with highest responsibility avoiding such danger.
Dear fellow humans,
You are (with 95% probability) not a farmer.
Emotional intelligence are well-documented on Internet. In past, we could go around angry/frustrated for a lifetime — while today we get pointed out if being too negative, and we can Google how to improve our well-being.
It’s easier than ever before to shape your external environment
Dear males, you don’t have 10% risk (as hunter-gatherers) that your death is caused by violence from other human-beings. Rather, its about 0.001%.
Final point: in my worldview — we have higher well-being than ever
Life in past history was tough. Toughness brought hardship which we admire, but that life also brought lots of struggle. Although we hear about mental struggles today, there is very low probability that you as an individual struggle more today than you would if you were born earlier in history.
Enjoy life, and improve your well-being by increasing other’s wellness