Stay positive and take your own counsel

In this electoral season, don't let fear guide your choice at the ballot box

Writing about positive thinking is a bit of a challenge at any time, but a real balancing act during an election campaign. We must recognize the chronic complainers and whiners amongst us, lest we be pulled into their negativity.

What is important is to remember that complaining about what is tends to produce more of the same. If we focus on creating something better, we tend to manifest that better future. There is no question about this at the level of the individual.  With nations it works the same way, but in spades. This is the psychology of manifesting.

Furthermore, being emotionally positive and holding a “brightness of the future” is probably the single most important factor in a person’s living a long, healthy, happy life. If we as a society could stay more emotionally positive, our present health care facilities would be underutilized. Being emotionally positive facilitates health.

The complaints and fears that accompany emotional negativity have a general depressing effect on our self-esteem, our sense of well-being, and our general health. Negativity wrecks marriages. Negativity hurts children. Prolonged negativity even seems to suppress the body’s immune system.

It is particularly important for us to stay emotionally positive during an election campaign, so we may recognize which candidates and parties have the most optimistic vision for the future, as we are bombarded with waves of campaign-related negativity. If we stay emotionally positive, we are better able to distinguish between true vision and ill-afforded campaign promises in the context of endless speeches, television commercials, radio sound bites, newspaper ads and posters.

An election is an invitation to all of us to think about what we want for the future of our province and country. An election gets us to think about what vision we hold for our collective futures.

Many of our candidates make more speeches about what is wrong and what is bad than they do about their vision for the future. Sad!

Some have a positive focus. We have our Canadian Medicare system because a courageous politician held a vision of universal health care. No amount of political whining and criticizing could ever have created universal medical care. Without Tommy Douglas’s positive vision and energy, we would probably have an American-style health-care system today. We Canadians could never have created our own flag and repatriated our constitution through whining and criticizing. It took vision and persistence on the part of our elected political leaders.

Martin Luther King had much to complain about, but instead he etched on our collective consciousness a bold vision for the future. That is what a true leader does. Stated differently, a true leader inspires us to follow him or her into their vision of the future.


Unfortunately, many of our political figures cannot seem to rise above complaining about what is. They attempt to control our voting behaviour by creating fear, not thought. Opposition parties are particularly vulnerable to finding fault with what is, rather than leading us to a vision of a brighter future.



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