Negativity Can Be Good

Negativity Can Be Good August 24, 2010

If you hear a comment made about yourself often enough you have to examine it for validity. For me that comment is that I’m negative. I’ve spent some time thinking about this and I don’t think being negative is a negative thing.

Humans have this evolutionary drive that compels them to keep pushing ever higher, ever further. As a species we are not a content people. We are not complacent. How often do we say “Well done! Perfect! Let us rest in our contentment and go no farther”?

If I love something, I will critique it. I want to make it better. It’s my nature. I believe in potential and hope and that a still more glorious dawn awaits. The glass that is half-full doesn’t need me. The glass that is half-empty does.

Being a negative person means you have the choice of following one of two paths. The first path is pessimism and apathy. Nothing is perfect, nothing is optimal, everything is broken so why even try? We’ve all met people like this who have given up on life. Perhaps they cannot overcome depression or they have come to feel powerless.  Then there is the path of the craftsman, full of determination, hope and perseverance. The world is full of problems but as long as they have a voice, two hands and a beating heart they can make it better. They focus on the negative not out of despair but out of service. If they are silent regarding the positive it’s because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I have a close relationship to Hephaistos, who is painted as a rather dour man in the myths. While others were content with the status quo, he bucked the system, spoke out against injustice and worked to make improvements upon our world. It’s true Prometheus delivered it, and was punished for it, but every time we light a candle we are using flames from Hephaistos’ forge. He’s constantly making, improving, working. When he looks at the Gods, he does not praise what makes them awesome but focuses on what they lack. Then he sets to work creating that which they lack, improving them beyond their nature. He is constantly pushing against complacency, stagnation, entropy, shoddiness and despair.

I like to think I am negative in the same way Hephaistos is and I am trying to embrace the positive as much as possible. I don’t think being negative is a bad thing if you embrace a path of action and hope. It is good that when we are rejoicing that we walk on the earth that there is someone saying “Yes, but we still need to walk amongst the stars.”

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  • I don’t know a THING about negativity. I’m all sweetness and sunshine and flowers.