Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Negative V Positive
You’ll have to excuse me but, I’ve been thinking about these two words for the past few weeks and the more I think the more confused I get.
Negative & positive can be no & yes, bad & good, wrong & right, refusal & acceptance. And if what you have just read, seems off or doesn’t sound quite right somehow, read it again and ask yourself what is wrong with the sentence. Yep, it sounds back to front. You want to read ‘yes & no, good & bad’ etc, don’t you?
That’s because we are constantly told to think positive thoughts, act in a positive manner, be positive about something or another. We are told, not to think negative thoughts because it’s bad for us. Not to be negative about situations and not to act in a negative way. And quite right too it is usually better to be positive.
So, you’d think the fact they are words meaning the exact opposite of each other would be clear cut wouldn’t you? Well, it’s not, not by any means. I think negative and positive can be very misleading in some circumstances.
If something is considered negative, we usually look at it as being bad; after all, we’ve been conditioned to think this way. A negative result can be bad when a scientist is testing a theory hoping to find a cure for some disease or other. And a negative result is not good if one trying to get pregnant. Then of course, there are also negative reactions, to ideas, people and things. We understand these definitions of negative as being correct.
However, when nothing is found to indicate the presence of disease, or a specific condition it can actually be a positive result in medical terms so, why is it called negative? A negative pregnancy test can also be a positive result of one is hoping not to be pregnant.
Negative can also mean failure to respond or the absence of a reaction. So, if one fails to respond when being goaded to fight, it could be considered positive. When one does not react to temptation, that’s positive.
Ah, but what about positive? Well, affirmation or acceptances from our peer’s backs up the positive feeling we have on things we do and say throughout our lives. We tend to get nice warm fuzzy feelings when we are positive we know the answer to the question. Or are positive we made the right decision.
So, you can’t really make a positive into a negative then can you? Well, yes you can, remember the medical results? A positive there, is usually a negative for the patient. And the positive pregnancy test, that’s actually a negative result for the one who doesn’t want to be pregnant. What about the acceptance of defeat, which can be very negative. Or when one is positive, they will fail to resist temptation?
It’s all too ambiguous for my liking!