Monday, March 23, 2015

Positive thinking in Algeria

I’m trying to find something to write about that wouldn’t turn sad, negative or fatalistic. At some point I thought about writing on love, but I realized that true love only makes you truly understand the destroyer of pleasures more. So that’s not going to be my topic.
My topic today is about positive thinking and optimism, and about cognitively restructuring your brain not to think negatively (or as some pessimists like to put it, realistically).
Of course overly positive thinking like having faith in all people or trusting that doing good things rewards you with good. That stuff doesn’t work, and you’ll end up with a lost wallet or a broken nose, or worse: both…
The art of positive thinking (Think positively, and you shall find good fortune) needs to be balanced with realistic thinking and awareness of your environment.
Two case studies:
1-      An uncle of mine travelled to Algeria from Iraq back in the early 1980s. While he was waiting with his bags at the line for [the bus?] My uncle turned around to the person behind him and beseeched the latter to look over his bags while the former went to change some currency.
Of course upon returning to the line, my uncle found that his bag (and his clothes, and passport, and basically everything he had) was gone. He was in a foreign country with only about $100USD in his pocket and no passport.
2-      Second story: Another uncle of mine (I have many uncles) also travelled to Algeria to retrieve the firs uncle. His travel was urgent and therefore he arrived to Algiers (the capital city) late in the evening, which for a city known for violence and disorder during that time, meant that everything was closed and boarded with armed gangs and questionable persons roaming the streets. He would have to somehow survive the night unmolested, much like an overnight mission in Dying light.

So, with quick thinking, he took off his shirt and placed it with all his things in a plastic bag, and walked around the streets of Algiers in his undershirt with his plastic bag swung over his shoulder. In doing so he took on the persona of the One who knocks

And he actually survived the night that way, until the morning where he found his wayward brother (who was able to find temporary room and board at a hotel) and helped him return to Iraq.
You may have come across a situation where positive thinking, realistic thinking and airy fairy thinking has resulted in positive or negative outcomes. I would love to hear those stories as well. I find in many cases that real life stories are more wonderful and magical than any film.

This may be the first blog post in which I don’t reach the 500 word mark, but it’s ok. I’ve conveyed my ideas today.  

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