Posted by: Patrick Mosolf | Thursday, 1 April, 2010

Barbara Ehrenreich Questions “Positive Thinking”

In an interesting take on something that people often take for granted, at least in the United States, well known author Barbara Ehrenreich questions positive thinking.

How Positive Thinking Wrecked the Economy

In the above article, Ehrenreich discusses ways that positive thinking may have been a contributor to the US financial crisis.

Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

In the above article, Ehrenreich discusses it in a variety of contexts, including when she got breast cancer.

I found these articles interesting because I had never really recognized how dominant this mode of thinking had become in the US.  But I can see that it may be true.

At the same time, I still think that positive thinking can be good, especially when needed as a balance to negative thinking.  I think I am a kind of perfectionist who often sees the flaws in various things, including around the world, so for me it is good sometimes remember the positive points in life.  That helps me to achieve a kind of balanced mental attitude.

Here is the Wikipedia entry on Norman Vincent Peale, who was made famous by his book “The Power of Positive Thinking”.  I didn’t realize that his book had been so strongly criticized.  I also didn’t realize that he had opposed John F. Kennedy being President because he was Catholic.

Well, have to run, more later, I hope…


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