Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the absence of a postive

In recent years, I came across this statement in an clinical study on happiness (I've since lost the reference - if you know it please pass it along):

The absence of a positive is more strongly felt than the presence of a negative.

I found myself saying this to a group I consult to as they were discussing the changes they anticipate with this most recent round of funding cuts. They (and the rest of us) are facing or will soon face not having something or the access to something that we had grown to count on as essential in our being able to do our work in a sustaining manner. That loss will be felt and cause anxiety - look at discussions about the prospects of cutting entitlements! However, when we learn to live with things that we experience as negatives, we adapt and accept.

Is there something to learn from this? One of the challenges of losing the things we have come to count on will dealing with how we feel about it. We need to maintain our perspective. Maybe we also need to look at those things that we think of as negatives and ask if there is something we can do about them.