American Positivism, French Authenticity
One of the hallmarks of the American culture is its unflinching belief in the value of positivism at all costs. Everything is fabulous, mothers congratulate their kids for blowing their nose, and God forbid, any hint of negativism is frowned upon. Coming from France, a country where we are taught to practice the art of the litote, from a very young age, this has always felt like fake and forced communication to me. The French are more into subtleties, and minimizing their appreciation. If they think something is really good, they will say, ‘Not bad’. French are also more free about voicing their opinions, whether good or bad.
Is positivism good for green?
I am noticing a lot of positivism in the green American media. Another blogger told me once that I would do well to be less negative. Couldn’t I talk about all the good things I am doing, rather than focusing on what is not going so well? Of course, I could. My question is, how relevant is it to the current problem that is facing us all? This admission of ‘sins’ is the first step in all life changing programs. Major religions have it in one form or another. Twelve steps program have made it their foundation. And good old logic says, identify the problem first, the solution will come next.
Authenticity and Green
Denial and lies will not get us anywhere. In psychotherapy, one way to facilitate authenticity, is to give the patient the permission to be completely him or herself. To that end, the therapist will sometimes engage in self-disclosure, revealing uncomfortable part of him or herself, and indirectly modeling a more authentic behavior for the patient. Being positive is good. Being authentic is even better.