Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Ashley Ford-McAllister
Founder & Owner of: Negative is Also a Charge
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Business and Successful Living Writer
Often, when you find yourself living your “worst case scenario”, well-meaning people will tell you to “focus on the positives”, to “remember the parts of the journey so far that you enjoyed, and plan for the better times ahead.”
When you’re living in the worst of times, as far as you’re concerned, you need to focus on the things that are bad. On the negatives.
The reason Charles Dickens uses the line “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is because one person’s “worst of times” almost always someone else’s “best of times” – think about the current political climate in Britain and America: for many people, this is their “worst of times”: they’re losing financial and medical support they rely on, they’re living in fear of their rights being dismissed, they’re facing the very real prospect of becoming homeless, destitute, or “illegal”, almost overnight. Yet other people are enjoying “the best of times” – they feel confident about the future and the economy, they believe that the government “will finally start getting things done”, they believe “common sense has finally returned.” They don’t understand what “everyone is whinging on about.” It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
Also, if you follow the concept of creative negativity, you will know that the “best of times”, or at least the potential for it, is wrapped up in the “worst of times”.
When you’re in your personal “worst of times”, you need to identify exactly why it is the worst of times. Explain, to yourself and to others, exactly what is wrong, if possible without reference to you and your personal situation. Your explanation will tell you what you should be working against, and towards. It will give you a purpose. And, once you have a purpose, you have something that will provide you with good, and take you along the road to “the best of times.” But you have to start from the worst of times.
As an example: right now, I would consider it to be the worst of times because of individuals from minority groups, particularly visible minorities, are genuinely afraid for their future. Because laws which work to prevent humanity destroying the world around us are being torn up. Because many people are coming out of the woodwork, and claiming that attacking specific groups, dismissing legal protections for the vulnerable, is “common sense” – and they see nothing wrong with it being “common sense” to encourage hatred, suspicion, and fear, while at the same time believing it is absolutely wrong that other people should challenge them on their views.
It is the worst of times because those who are supporting things I consider reprehensible and unsustainable, things I believe will harm both individuals and society, as well as the world we rely on for life, are refusing to explain their decisions and their actions, and simply howling about how they feel “vilified” and how they’re “afraid to even mention my own opinions, for fear of violent backlash”, without any apparent awareness that this is exactly how visible minorities feel every single day, when they merely consider leaving their house or their community.
What I should be working to avoid is facile refusal to engage, and the encouragement of actions based on fear.
What I should be working towards is a climate where intelligent, informed debate can take place, where people can encounter views and people they disagree with, and yet engage sensibly and fully with those views and people.
Because of that focus, I understand that it doesn’t serve either purpose – the purpose I’m working against, or the purpose I’m working towards – to become angry, or to give in to despair. I’m not saying I won’t succumb, at times, to those feelings, but I am aware that they are not on the road to the place I’m going.
That’s the power of creative negativity. That’s why you need to focus on the negative, on what’s wrong.
It’s the only place you can truly move forward from.
Article Credits: Ashley Ford-McAllister
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor