I recently found a great set of videos by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). The RSA is a UK institute with a long, impressive history. As far as I can tell, its main purpose is collaborating efforts in social research, policy development and effecting real, positive social change. Not just a think-tank.
The RSA videos are very engaging, especially a group under the banner of RSA Animate. Instead of watching a person for 10 minutes, you are drawn into the content through a cartoon developed in parallel with the talk.
The one below is a presentation by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of “Nickel and Dimed”. It’s about unrealistic positivity (“keeping up appearances” in my parlance).
Much of the video is about the corporate workplace, where expressing pessimism can be a death knell. I know this from personal experience. My corporate career swung up and down in line with my moods. A long spell of unbridled, hypomanic optimism saw me climb the ladder with frightening speed. When the crash came I was immediately out of step with corporate culture and my shelf life was curtailed. Then new job, rinse and repeat.
To my way of thinking, reciting affirmations is a close cousin to unrealistic, unquestioning optimism. Barbara Ehrenreich touches on this in the video. I’ve tried affirmations many times, and given up just as many. Do affirmations change your world?
Depressed folk like me gravitate to the self-help section of Amazon. There is no shortage of advice on the power of positivity. As much as I wish I was a magnet for happiness, my life is more complicated and just thinking it so won’t make it so. That is why this video resonates with me.