Prof. Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh
The need for positive thinking
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A culture of negativity has been on the increase in our society for some time now, and it needs to be reversed.


It is no denying that the Arab region has, since 2011 in specific, been going through particularly difficult times.


Politically, democracy in much of the Arab world has regressed. Economically, many Arab countries – including the oil-rich ones – have been hard hit. Socially, there has been increasing displacement and depopulation, due to violence and armed conflicts.


Radicalism and terror are plaguing several countries, and a strong sense of insecurity and anger prevails.


Foreign intervention in the affairs of several individual Arab countries is upsetting many people. Inter-Arab conflicts are exacerbating the situation.


Education, at both school and university levels, is not yielding the expected results.


Individuals feel they are unable to make a difference and collectively our societies are largely failing to move forward.


As far as the Palestinian issue is concerned, the situation — especially since 2011 — has been rapidly going from bad to worse, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, due to Israel’s selfishness and total disregard of Palestinian rights.


As a result of all of this, and the inability of Arab regimes and governments to live up to expectations, the sense of negativity has increased noticeably.


All have been affected, but the youth in particular are largely disoriented and disillusioned due to the absence of a sense of direction.


The problem is that negativity has translated into apathy and fatalism.


Cynicism is prevailing, and it has become fashionable to be cynical, satirical and derisive.


Prior to 2011, things were by no means milk and honey. There was a lot of negativity and discontent. But there was also a feeling that change was possible.


Change looks very far-fetched now that the 2011 “revolutions” brought about such disappointing or disastrous consequences.


But this is precisely why we need positive thinking.


Negativity will only make things worse, making us succumb to feelings and attitudes that will only harm us and promote the status quo.


We need to spread the culture of positive thinking for many reasons, two of which need to be particularly highlighted.


The first is that, despite the problems just mentioned, there are bright spots on the overall Arab scene, and several individual Arab countries that weathered the Arab Spring and have been making slow but good progress in a number of crucial fields.


Several individuals and organisations (private and public) have kept up hope and are working steadily to make change happen in a variety of key spheres.


We need to capitalise on these achievements through positive thinking and the faith that we can do more.


The second is that while positive thinking will give us a chance to rise from the ashes, improve a poor situation with respect to all issues mentioned above, negative thinking will only yield bad results.


This is why positive thinking needs to be prioritised at this point in time, and at all levels, because without it and without hope, we only stand to lose and fail.

Source : Jordan Tmes

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