We’ve all been exposed to weeks of frantic General Election activity recently
With politicians competing to promise how they’ll make our lives much better than they’ve been till now.
We’re a pretty cynical lot in this country
And the response has been underwhelming, to say the least. Typical comments from the public include “These politicians are all the same – you can’t trust any of them” (what – every single one of them?), or “They make all these promises ahead of the election and then go on to break them all!” (what – every single promise?) or “You can’t believe a word they say!” (what – 100% of what they say?)
There’s truth in there somewhere
But wait a minute. Did the last government (or the one before that, come to that) do anything right? Is there anything that we can actually thank them for? I know that is a really countercultural thing to say – I can’t remember ever hearing on the TV. It’s just not cool to recognise the good in a public servant, apart from when they die, is it (including the local council, the NHS, Social Services, the Police…)?
“Did the government do anything right? I know to say that is really countercultural – I can’t remember hearing anyone ever say it”
Psychologists tell us that we all have a ‘negativity bias’ that pushes us towards seeing the worst in situations
They also say that we tend, paradoxically, to big ourselves up in comparison with others. Brene Brown (I recommend watching her on YouTube) tells us that “blame is described in the research as a way to discharge pain and discomfort”. We point the finger at others primarily to make ourselves feel better about ourselves!
Is that going on when we blame the government for all our woes?
Or the Police, or the Council, or anyone in authority….or our friends and relatives?
“Blame – ‘a way to discharge pain and discomfort’. We point the finger at others primarily to make ourselves feel better about ourselves!”
In contrast, there is a load of research to show…
That people who consistently express appreciation and gratitude in their lives experience more joy and optimism, and less envy and resentment than those who don’t! Is there a lesson here?
This is not a party political programme on behalf of anyone
But before we slag off the next politician we see (or public servant, or workmate, or person in the street), pause and ask whether there is something positive you can think or say about what they have done…