Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Don’t Look on the Bright Side

 by Julie Hanus

Tags: Spirituality, mindful living, optimism, positive thinking, cultural criticism, Barbara Ehrenreich, In These Times,

In These Times Nov. 2009Have you ever been a good sport? Do you ever look on the bright side? Speaking to In These Times about her new book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich offers some reasons to think twice about the origins and virtue of optimism. Optimism became a prevailing cultural phenomenon as job security began to change (and in many cases vanish) in the 1980s, she explains. “If you want to have a compliant populace, what could be better than to say that everyone has to think positively and accept that anything that goes wrong in their lives is their own fault because they haven’t had a positive enough attitude?”

Source: In These Times