To demonstrate this, look closely at a representation of the world I’ve constructed below::
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WEST – + + + + – – + + – – + – – + + – + – + EAST
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Pretty poor graphic, I agree (and it may look worse in your particular browser or print-out). Novertheless, consider it as a graphic representation of the real world as we humans tend to universally intrepret it.
As you can see, the world, as we learn to view it, is filled with both positive and negative things. It is covered with many plusses, representing the many wonderful, kind, and loving occurrences which happen every day. It is also covered with many minuses, which represent the many sins, inequities, and tragedies of the world. When you look at it, its easy to see the total picture at a glance, both god and bad…
But imagine this picture being multiplied several million times. Then, it would be impossible to see the “total picture.” Your view of the world would come to be based, exclusively, on which elements you happened to focus upon. Clearly, such a million-fold magnification would provide all the opportunities needed for you to isolate and focus upon nothing but negative things — if that’s what you’re interested in looking for. Argueably, there is so much truly bad in the world, you could be preoccupied virtually every moment of every day concentrating on it.
On the other hand, if all you are looking for is the good, there is plenty of that too. No matter how the plusses and minuses alter, there is enough good in the world to hold your attention 24-hours a day, every day.
It’s all a matter of what you’re looking for!
The world is filled with so many wondrous things. It is also filled with so many horrors. There is hatred, war, starvation, poverty, and disease. There is also love, altruism, family, creativity, and beauty. There is enough in the “real world” to keep your mind occupied practically every minute of every day with either positive things or negative things.
No one can disagree with the fact that, if you wish to, there’s enough disgusting and disheartening things going on in the world to keep hold your mental attention 24-hours a day. Yet, on the other hand, there’s no doubt that there are also enough good and wonderful things in this world to keep your attention equally as occupied — every minute of every day.
The point is: which will you choose to focus on?
The choice is clear when it comes to happiness. Happy people, according to the research, naturally tend to focus upon the positive things around them. As a result, they tend to preoccupy their minds with a many more pleasant thoughts and memories; and because of this, they end up happier still. Unhappy people, by contrast, seem only to see the negatives in life. As a result, their minds are mired in the unhappy events which surround them, perpetuating their already unhappy mental state.