Imagine our ancestors, who were primarily hunter-gatherers, when faced with predator like a Lion thought “This lion will not eat me”. Or consider example of the 2008 financial crisis, people thought “mortgage backed securities will never go down”. Then every now and then throughout the world their are banks that collapsed and eventually had to be bailed out by government. In each of these examples, people failed to consider a perspective. These people were not dumb but they were blinded by what I call toxic positivity. I see so many instances where the situation was dire and people were being positive about it. All it does is exacerbates the problem.
Now consider the flip side, which I think was how our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have solved the problem. Instead of relying on Lion not eating them. They controlled what they could, expecting the worst. They started living and hunting in groups which gave them obvious advantage. They did this until man became the apex predator in the food chain. If they had not done that we would not be here seeing this day.1 Same goes for the financial crisis, if more people had considered a negative perspective2 that financial crisis could have been avoided. This negative perspective is what I call thoughtful negativity.
Thoughtful negativity is better than toxic positivity
In conclusion what I want to say is negative perspective is not bad. Perception of reality is always subjective. If we consider the negative perspective along with positive, I think, we get a more clearer picture of reality.
Reminds me of a scene from The Leftovers season 2. It’s opening scene and is very beautiful depiction of how our human race has evolved. I will not spoil that scene for you. Go watch it, it’s worth watching. ↩︎
Few people did considered the negative perspective and earned quite some money. You can watch the movie Big Short or related documentaries if you haven’t already ↩︎