I'm taking a break from my series on feminism, I'm up to my ears in other stuff, and I'll come back to it when I can dedicate more time, because it's important (and I have a lot more to say). Today I want to briefly address a dichotomy I see in popular attitudes.
Attitude #1 goes like this:
Wealth distribution is grossly unfair. Poor people are getting screwed, they always have done, but in this modern world we actually have the ability to stop that happening. Instead the gap between rich and poor is getting wider. This is an injustice that needs to be addressed and we should not ignore it or allow to continue.
Attitude #2 goes like this:
If we think positive, things will improve. We make our own luck by our attitudes, and to succeed all we need to do is have successful thoughts. After all, money isn't everything, and there are many other ways to measure success. But wealth comes to those with the drive, passion, and faith. Go-getters get the gold.
At first sight, these attitudes seem mutually exclusive. #1 blames society, while #2 blames the individual (although it wouldn't admit that, it never talks of blame openly). #1 thinks #2 is out of touch with reality, or worse. Meanwhile #2 thinks #1 is being a negative Nelly.
They argue. There is often a political aspect to it, which is probably obvious, because if you take these attitudes a bit further they do lead to classic left and right stances.
Well, you know me. I don't do extremes.
The fact is, if you get your head out of your arse and leave your agenda over there, you can see that there is truth in both attitudes. It's stupid to have them as opposing sides. We will collectively get nowhere, actually, if we fight over this.
I have a few wise friends who have managed to combine these attitudes. While keenly aware of social injustices they take a pro-active stance, and are optimistic it can be changed. Instead of just complaining about it, they do something about it. I've heard this snappy little idea:
Don't stress it, address it.
I like that.
You can use that in all sorts of situations, a little mantra.
I do not believe that #1 is always negative. It can be realistic with a bit of despair thrown in, but it can also be an attitude one can build on. To start to make change.
I do not believe that #2 is always positive. It can be idealistic, with a bit of chutzpah thrown in, but it can also be an attitude one can build on. To start to make change.
Both agree there is another way.
Perhaps if people with different attitudes start by finding common ground, cut out the stubbornness, and took a peek at the other view, we might make that change a little faster. Apparently we all want it.