Some people always start with a ‘no’ to anything uttered or addressed to; of course, many of them don’t really mean ‘no’, it’s being somewhat a habit of saying so. However, for others a ‘no means no’ always to all matters under the sun, even if the most correct piece of news or development is reported to them for the first time. This is the germ of negativity that, if unchecked, eventually takes full control of the hapless human mind. Such negative vibes are often infectious, affecting all around adversely, let it be homes or offices or public places. This writer has experienced this syndrome in his various train journeys: yes, in India most people are woefully used to late running of the trains, but when a train in fact is doing great, running on time or ever before time, those souls continue to emit the negative vibes ‘no, it’s running late already or going to run late or will finally arrive three-four hours late’ and so on; and this writer has seen on many occasions how these negative vibes actually lead to the train losing on time due to a string of unforeseen goof-ups, and finally running late irrecoverably. We don’t need to submit scientific proofs on the negative-vibe-infection syndrome, because most the things in the human mind cannot in fact be proved.
For the last few months, the waves of negative vibes are rising as worryingly as the COVID virus. Reasons for this are not far to seek. In the wake of the ‘new normal’ forced upon humanity by the killer virus people are getting deprived of things they always loved to do: they are unable to mix with friends or relatives even in the domestic environs; they are deprived of all parties, all social-cultural-religious events; they can no longer visit the movie houses or their most favorite restaurants; in some regions they cannot even take their morning or evening walks or jogs or strolls; all the women are getting tired of being in the kitchen continuously with no outings or outside food coming in, and even if the men try help them in cooking the ‘casualties’ turn out to be more than benefits; people living in congested or compressed spaces, particularly in the Indian slums and low-middle class homes, are getting suffocated and impatient; and no shopping ecstasies can be indulged in except for the tedious and repetitive online choices.
The negativity surge has been emerging as a socialistic phenomenon too sans class bias with even the celebrities of various fields in their spacious flats getting angry, frustrated and impatient. The film industry, particularly in India, seems to be affected the most, from the stars to the junior artists, technicians and small-time operators, the former being suffocated due to forced idleness and depression while the latter suffering due to lack of employment and financial difficulties. For example, the Bollywood (Hindi film industry in India) has been twisting and seething with suffocation so much so that this possibly led to one rising star, Sushant Singh Rajput, committing an alleged suicide which in turn has threatened to divide the industry into two, one side alleging mafia-rule and nepotism while the other side defending itself and facing grilling by the police.
Many have questioned the role of the media too in spreading negativity. ‘Why do they always highlight the negative stories’ has been the constant query on the minds of people. Videos of various stray incidents like keeping dead bodies for a long time along with recuperating patients in COVID treatment wards or patients dying due to alleged hospital denial to admit or total lack of dignified cremation for dead patients are in fact being given repeated airtime in the Indian television channels at various times. The media, in the unusual crisis-laden cut-throat throes of competition, must be catering to the negativity that has mushroomed in the previous few months. Of course, good-news stories are also being shown, but in some cases even good-news stories get the negative tinge; for example, some channels tend to use somewhat negative words like ‘slump’ or ‘dip’ while dishing out a most positive story that new COVID cases are coming down in certain cities, and while showing COVID hospitals with lots of empty beds the impression that comes out from the structure of the story is that the hospitals should really be blamed for under-utilizing the beds. Such is the power of negativity.
As strong as the Corona surge, the negativity surge is finding an obvious outlet in the social media too. Instead of inspiring the users with positivity, most of the posts/videos are aimed at only terrorizing/misinforming/misleading them. The emotions expressed are always either ridicule or disdain or rumor-mongering or satire at best. With the digital existence becoming a reality now, constant exposure to such negative hammerings are bound to impact the human mind in an undesirable way, strengthening the negative surge further.
Like the COVID surge the negativity surge too must be contained with positive measures. Unfortunately, the authorities cannot do much on this front. The people must consider, reconsider and arm themselves with a strong positivity in everything they do, from even eating to watching, talking, listening or working, applying moderation and discretion everywhere. They must tune in only to genuine and confirmed sources of information; they must not blindly keep on forwarding posts/videos in the social media; and in short, they must learn to differentiate a half-full glass of water from a half-empty one. They must counter the word ‘no’ in a very practical way, unless it’s a matter of life and death. Good positive stories are indeed unfolding everywhere around the globe, you only need to behold these. As we talked of people living in congested slums, Asia’s biggest slum, Dharavi in Mumbai, has created a success story in containing the virus most effectively which got international praise and commendation. The will in people is all-powerful, if they just decide to win against a virus or negativity, they will surely win. Irrespective of being Corona negative or Corona positive, you must always be positive in life, against any challenge. No better time to accomplish positivity than the present.