One of my friends Josh Centers became the main character on Twitter yesterday. He’s a stellar writer and I absolutely recommend subscribing to his Unprepared newsletter as he’s my go to guy to for responsible even-handed insights on being prepared for emergencies large and small.
Josh got in trouble for pointing out that survival depends on keeping a positive attitude. But since it’s Russia war time it included the caveat that nuclear war is bad but also survival might be possible.
People don’t love being reminded we can in fact take care of ourselves. At first I was surprised. Of course having tenancy matters. But I think people might have disliked it because it suggested our chances met rest on our actions. Sure it’s scary to let go of any sense of victimhood and know in your heart you are responsible for your family.
Josh got called out for toxic positivity. Which if it is legible at all, it is in a millennial woke community. I see it most used when millenials are exhausted from a corporate job that treat them badly but as workers they are expected to be good sports. The idea what we must boot strap our way out of bad times is upsetting but pretty prevalent in a capitalist driven and individualistic society.
Toxic positivity has also become a catch all for substituting personal responsibility for problems like mental health when they are causes by society level public problems. So meditation, fitness, exercise etc can all be labeled toxic positivity if you use them to cope with systemic ills. Church would be considered toxic positivity as well. It’s a classic liberal conservative through line I think. Why should the individual be forced to shoulder a society level burden asks the socialist. The capitalist says why should I be forced to shoulder the burdens of these individuals.
The reality is that in an emergency it won’t matter your philosophy. You will have to cope with the issue, no matter big or small, as it comes and hope that others can improve on your response. But expecting that you will be taken care of or that you can take care of others is just as useless. That’s why preparation is crucial. It’s not toxic positivity but rather the cold harsh reality that only you can save yourself.