Based on recent polls and my own observations, I’m afraid that if we as a society don’t start thinking more positively, we run the risk of becoming one giant, collective “wet blanket.” It’s easy to become walled in by the heavy social, political and economic challenges in front of us, and right now we’re exhibiting all the typical traits of fair-weather fandom. A few examples:
• A survey from The Atlantic. Results suggested that while we are embracing different lifestyles, we’ve become far more cynical about Wall Street, the ability to succeed on one’s own merits, the future of our children, and even the existence of God.
• The Washington Post commissioned a poll on the night before the United Nations’ conference on sustainable development. Twice as many respondents thought the environment would get worse over the next decade than better and more than 75% thought humans were most at fault.
• Finally, and I think most disturbing: a poll from Reuters this past May found that one in seven people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime.
This, of course, is difficult to swallow for those of us tasked with building and protecting corporate reputations. Corporate reputation management naturally requires the communicating of positives—quite a challenge these days. So it was refreshing to come across a short film a few days back that breeds positive thinking. In “The Future is Ours“, filmmaker-entrepreneur Michael Marantz gives a proper nod to how far the human race has come and the endless possibilities that lie ahead. It’s a solid reminder of our potential and the power of will; one that might help shake this abiding tendency to focus only on the bad.
The video prompted me to research some of humanity’s most recent and exciting breakthroughs. Among these discoveries was the first preventative HIV vaccine, the possibility of other habitable planets some 600 light-years away, and the Higgs boson “God particle.”