In my email, on Facebook, at work, in the news. All the time.
Guess what? Things are actually pretty good. We have comfortable lives where we can afford to be sheltered and fed and clothed; we have friends and partners; we have so much spare time we don't know what to do with it all. And we can say we don't have enough money, but if we have enough for alcohol, smokes, chocolate and takeaways, we have enough money.
I liked the fact that on the front page of the Dominion Post today there was a really positive article about The Hobbit, after a few days where everyone's been complaining non-stop.
First an actors' union was complaining; then people started blaming unions for Warner Brothers potentially going overseas with The Hobbit; and once John Key met with executives to secure its filming here, people complained about the tax break he agreed to, and about John Key using it as an excuse to "sell human rights" — in other words, effect a law which will mean people working on the film will be contractors instead of employees.
1. As far as I can tell, this just means they'll just have a different contract — a way of working that painters, electricians and so on have no problem being on already.
2. Most of the tax break would have been provided anyway, and the total is still far less than the money the film is expected to bring in.
People complain about an issue; and once it's fixed, it feels like people just find an issue with the fix to complain about.
Can't we just be happy the movie's staying here, which is what we wanted? Can't we look at how much it will bring in as well as how much is being spent? It seems so one-sided.
I'm normally a pretty happy person, and I do try to find the positive, but it's starting to bring me down.
It's not like I can stop reading the news — that is actually my job.
But the news isn't the problem. It's people's attitude: constantly complaining, or being mean about others behind their backs, or being ungrateful for half a loaf from the government because you feel you should have got a whole one. If you're getting something for nothing, be happy with half a loaf.
I feel like declaring a Positivity Day; but probably no-one would join in. I feel like listing everything good with the world; but I'd be mocked for being cheesy.
But I do feel lucky. I have a job I love; my boyfriend is moving down here next week; I have a beautiful house and a cuddly cat; I work in a city I love. And it's nearly summer.
Maybe everyone doesn't have as good a life as mine. But most of the people I've been listening to whine and complain are people who have lives just as good.
I wish we'd think about what we do have, not what we don't.