Very interesting point of view on positive thinking.. I’ve never saw it this way before..
I think some people do need to have positive expectations intead of negative ones.. I mean.. “that kind of positive thinking”: to expect a positive outcome from a situation instead of thinking it will all go wrong.
I agree with you that environment affects one’s possibilities and we should stand up and want to change things instead of just accepting the wrong things in our society.
Indeed we must be more empathic with other people and to be there for them.. but I also think that if they’re going through a bad time because of the system, if we would tell them “hey, let’s go and change the world, let’s change that thing that affected you”, they will think we’re crazy.. so you end up just telling them “come on man, smile, it will be okay..”. That’s the short term solution, try to make them more positive.
As of the positive movement.. most of the material focuses on the individual, as you say.. but some of it is also trying to do just what you’re talking about: Inspire people to stand up and change things.
Let me know if you’ve read “The Motivation Manifesto” or if you’re ever going to, I’d like to know what you think of it. And if it bothers you that I’ve shared some “positive, self-help” book, sorry in advance! :-)