Cynicism is a Choice… and so is Hope

Bad stuff happens. Bad actors exist. Decent people do bad things. Bad people do their things. Nature does it’s thing… storms, snow and clouds.

It can look pretty bleak some days.

The news can seem to be a constant flow of disasters, invasions, road accidents, kidnappings and domestic violence. (This is my summary of the TV news as we stopped at a roadside cafe as we road-trip across Spain).

It is also true that progress is being made. Fewer people are dying young. Fewer diseases can kill you. Fewer deadly road accidents. Fewer wars.

There is so much information coming at us every day that we cannot process it all.

We see how we are

Our attitude will guide what passes the filters of attention overload. If my attitude is cynicism… I will see the data that proves I am right. If my attitude is hope, I will see data that proves I am right.

We are not neutral passive observers of the world in which we live.

We are active and biased interpreters driven by motivated reasoning, so full of cognitive biases that reality is a distant concept.

The practice of gratitude changes our mode of perception. First I decide to have an attitude of gratitude, then actively recall what I am grateful for… This is like priming a pump… or an AI chatbot… and then my perception starts to notice more things that I can be grateful for… and then on to a virtuous circle of hope and optimism.

If you are passive, the news will take you to cynicism.

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