This week’s discussions are around on the concept of positive thinking. As I journeyed through the thoughts, numerous questions popped in my mind. And at times they were conflicting and contradicting each other. I have also been privy to numerous responses, opinions and questions from a variety of readers this week. Discussions across various forums till date have raised a strong and loud question whether being neutral or quiet (not positively responding to a situation) can turn a person cynical and negative? A couple of weeks ago in a lunch conversation, I happened to hear very similar thoughts from a senior professor as well. This blog is an attempt to put forth some thoughts in this very direction.
Being neutral does not mean the opposite of being positive. Ideally, the opposite of being positive must be being negative. It is the usual debate of the optimist-pessimist categorization. Being neutral opens up a third possibility where neither of the options is very obviously practiced.
In a very broad sense, it can be thought of as the middle path proposed by Buddha. Staying neutral requires certain amount of development in the individual before he can put it to practice. The lack of complete understanding of the state of ‘being neutral’ will lead to it being misconstrued as arrogance, cynicism or indifferent especially by many who observe the behavior.
While the positive and negative thinking schools individually have contextual uses and areas of application, the being neutral school can be used more broadly across all situations and contexts. While the above is true in an absolute sense, being neutral tendency has areas of application where it is relatively more useful– like areas of analysis and decision making. I hope this post adds to the ongoing conversations on attempting to clarify the three approaches to handling situations. While I shall initiate conversation on contextual application of the above three in tomorrow’s blog post, I would love to continue hearing from all of you so that we can keep the thoughts evolving.