In the United States, most of us are already war-weary from all the badmouthing and mudslinging that’s happening in the presidential campaigns.
Listen to this negative drumbeat for too long, and you’re bound to be downcast, because most talk is gloomy and often dismaying.
That’s why I recently enjoyed reading “When Did Optimism Become Uncool?” in the New York Times. Its author, Greg Easterbrook, a contributing editor to both The Atlantic Monthly and The New Republic, argues that people need to cheer up, because the glass is significantly more than half full.
This is true for America, and — in case you’re a reader in another country — it’s also true for most of the world.
Here are a few of Easterbrook’s findings:
* American job growth has been strong for the last five years, with unemployment now below where it was for most of the 1990s.
* The American economy is number one by a huge margin. It’s larger that number two (China) and number three (Japan) combined.
* The United States leads the world in science, engineering, business innovation and in every aspect of creativity, including the arts.
* In 1990, 37 percent of humanity lived in what the World Bank defines as extreme poverty; today it’s 10 percent.
Of course, there are serious problems in the US and in the world. Lots of things need to be improved, remedied or eliminated.
But things aren’t all bad by any stretch of the imagination. And if we don’t remind ourselves of the good, then we’ll put ourselves in a funk that will inhibit creative solutions.
Be aware of problems and work on fixing them. But don’t let doomsayers and naysayers get you down. Stay positive for the sake of your creativity and well-being.