The world is filled with pessimistic people, and now they have phones in their hands to spread their negativity.

This pessimism was so visible with the announcement of the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce. Social media was flooded with memes, and these memes focused on all the negative. They range from alimony settlement to working from home memes. Some people even brought up Bill’s 2019 tweet wishing for another 25 years of marriage. Some people might tell me that those memes were funny, and I would politely disagree. It was pessimism masked as jokes. It is more a reflection of their true feelings towards marriage and relationship in general.

To me, it revealed how some social media users are thriving off negativity. They influence those around them, and this spread pessimism across the internet. The danger is the longer you stay on the internet, the more you become pessimistic.

The internet is not the only place pessimism thrives. Workplaces are just as bad. I have worked with my fair share of pessimistic colleagues. They always had a problem with everything. If it is not the job, then it is the salary. If it is not the salary, then it is the working hours. It always felt like they do not want to be there. I seldom wondered if they were ever happy.

In any organisational setting, there is always a problem with working hours, salary and job expectations. Some employees are exploited, and they are usually the ones who cannot say no. And I felt for them, but they rarely offered a solution to the challenges they were faced.

Please do not think of me as an optimistic freak. I am not. I, however, do appreciate negative feedback and setbacks. A legend in the ANC says that when former South African President Thabo Mbeki took over from Nelson Mandela, Madiba said the following to him: “Criticism is the lifeblood of the struggle. Please do not surround yourself with “yes men.” I took this as a guiding principle the first time I became a team leader in an organisational setting. I allowed for critical feedback and criticism and always tried to improve and do better.

The problem with pessimism is that it does not offer a solution. It is just negative, harmful and damaging. Pessimistic people rarely provide a solution to a problem. With every answer, they respond with more negativity.

Will this ever change? I don’t know, but I sure hope so.

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