Conditioned to be negative and materialistic?

I was composing an e-mail and realized that in this e-mail, like in others, I was writing negatively. I should point out this was a social e-mail, the equivalent of picking up the phone and saying "Hi".

Anyway ... the point is that even in social conversation (or maybe it is just me), conversation is monopolized by complaints, gossip, or gloating (I am conveniently ignoring discovery / self-revelation when people are learning about one another. There is small talk too, which I am hopeless at).

I don't gossip, so that's one topic less for me to include in my conversation.

We complain about the weather / politicians / prices / potholes / our numerous aches and pains / etc. For some reason these negative things are considered newsworthy. Not just in social conversation, but in all forms of conversation.

And then there is gloating, "I just got a new TV / Car / Boat / 6 weeks holiday / etc"

But how often, whether in the news, or in our daily lives, to we talk about a warming sunbeam, or the chirpy morning song of a robin. Not often.

I am more likely to write / gripe about work, corruption, pot-holes in the streets, good things coming my way (usually in the form of material wealth or significant leisure time). But am I going to talk / write about the kiss my children gave me before going to bed?

Amazingly, we will tolerate repetitively complaining about corruption, but we quickly tire of listening to me relate how I told Sofia, "I love you."

We will natter without tiring about potholes, but we quickly tire of hearing about robin redbreast’s morning song.

Are we conditioned to complain, gossip, and gloat?

Think how odd it feels to talk about the morning sunshine, or the glistening dew.

Image grabbed from here


ManNMotion said…
Hmmm...are we conditioned? I think many of us are. I started to recognize this a few years ago when I noticed how the news, which so many people are into, is always negative. Then music on the radio seems to so often have a negative orientation. I'm reminded of something a friend once said, if you do something good, no one ever hears about it...but if you do something bad, the news travels at the speed of light.
Richard said…
An alternate line of argument might be that this is part of human nature and we naturally tend to gravitate towards being negative. So in that case, we are reinforced by the meida exposure around us.

After my friend replied to me, I realized that my problem was that my e-mail was without caring. If I focussed on caring, the e-mail came out much better. See my rebuttal for part of that second e-mail. (ha ha, like I really need to link to it, since it is the very next entry in my blog)
busybee said…
ya... our tongues, though small, are very powerful as mentioned in James 3:3-12:

3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Richard said…
Well Bee, speech involves the mouth, the vocal chords, the teeth, the lips, and the lungs as well (not to mention the controlling brain), so it is unfair to single out just the tongue ;-)

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