it can be a cruel place, but the reassuring emotions that our loved ones make us feel manage to make it a warmer place, partly made for us.
Sometimes, when we observe the world, what we perceive is a chaos of situations and events that leads us to distance ourselves from the world itself, making us feel vulnerable and small when we do not understand our position in the face of certain situations. Sometimes we can see the world as a threatening place. When, on the other hand, we shift our gaze and direct it closer to us, we usually find relief and safety. The reasons are many, but above all that we are part of the world through our personal relationships.
Being surrounded by people who offer us feelings of security and understanding makes us more optimistic, because we tend to observe and judge from a more positive perspective. Not knowing how to take care of social relationships can be as harmful as not playing sports, being alcoholic or smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.
Why are we overwhelmed with pessimism when we look at the world?
Compared to past eras, we are currently living better than ever, the data prove it. Despite this, the protective inclination of the brain leads us to pay more attention to news that can represent a threat, making us live constantly in a state of alert.
We live in the age of the least violence of humanity, poverty has been significantly reduced, the world population lives longer every day, the world in general has become more democratic. Yet, we often hear expressions that present a world in constant deterioration: “it is no longer what it used to be” or “We lived much better before”. But as we have seen, the statistics present us with a very different scenario.
What is the reason for this dissonance between the current situation of the world and the global state of pessimism on the evolution of the planet? Steven Pinker, a professor at Harvard University, summarizes and explains the main reason behind this distortion: the pessimistic filter can be extremely strong and insistent.
Our brains are programmed to identify dangers and put our conscience first, and negative news can put our quality of life at risk. Good news, on the other hand, can hardly turn into a threat. This is one of the reasons why negative news is given more importance, and also explains why it generally has a greater impact on our memory.
Why are we more optimistic when we look at our loved ones?
The key to explaining our optimism in looking at our loved ones, those people we have voluntarily chosen to share our personal vicissitudes, is to be grateful. The secret is being able to be grateful for what they do for us, without it having to be something extraordinary or that we “take for granted.”
Do we take into consideration how many people contribute to making our daily life possible? Do we take into consideration the importance of the emotions we receive from our relationships?
We cannot deny the fact that we have to be immensely grateful to an infinity of people who make the flow of our life possible, who allow us to enjoy our here and now. And in order to express it, it is necessary to be aware of the beautiful and positive things that surround us.