When I saw this piece, it reminded me of UJ’s postings on positive thinking and The Secret. The author questions whether the power of positive thinking and the constant exhortations that people should act happy and be happy, haven’t been harmful to our culture. The issue is whether trying to be upbeat at all times causes people to overlook real problems and issues. If something is wrong, why shouldn’t an intelligent human being be unhappy about it and complain about it?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with positive thinking, and I think there is nothing wrong with doing things that ten to make you happier, like listening to music that you like on your commute, rather than risking higher blood pressure as a result of listening to the news. In my view, the problem with many “positive thinking” type books is that some people read them and conclude that they are entitled to be happy. If you think that you are entitled to be hapy at all times, and you aren’t, you are bound to be disappointed — and disappointed people aren’t happy. Being realistic about the ups and downs of life seems like a wiser course.