I've noticed, lately...much like the Bible and all the beautiful literary and philosophical qualities it has to offer...concepts like positive thinking and gratitude are being perverted andÂ used as a tool for oppression, abuse, hatred and judgment, in an effort to feed gluttonous egos, and/or continue to suppress painful, festering sores ofÂ individual and/or mass reality.Â
Positive thinking is NOT about seeing a rainbow, where a tornado clearly exists.Â THAT is a PERVERSION of the concept.Â THAT is denial, a defense mechanism, which is quite detrimental to one's holistic well-being.Â To tell a starving man to just think positively, denies him the reality and severity of his situation, it minimizes his obvious pain, distorts his experience and offers no actual solution or empathy for his plight.Â More to the point, if you DO tell a starving man, â€œJust think positively,â€ youâ€™re a heartless, shallow douchebag.
As for gratitude; it's not a term which should be used to silence or stifle the justifiable grief of others.Â Grief and gratitude can co-exist.Â Simply because someone chooses [and needs] to express feelings of grief, in an effort to process through it and heal, does NOT mean they are incapable of being grateful for those things and/or people which they have NOT lost.Â If you see a starving man, standing in the rain and wearing a raincoat, and tell him, â€œJust be grateful you're not starving AND wet,â€ youâ€™re a dick. Period.
Moral to the story:Â If someone elseâ€™s pain causes you discomfort, for various reasons, and pause, because you donâ€™t know what to do or say, rather than simply spewing Skittles [n. 1. a sugar-coated rainbow of empty words. 2. sugar-coated, empty calories,Â to a starving, malnourishedÂ man. 3. sugar-coated, colorful pellets, which CAUSE INJURY, when thrown, LIKE STONES, toward a living being.] refer to my new, unpublished book, entitled, How to Survive a Funeral, attached below:
How to Survive a Funeral
In Two Simple Steps
By Toshia C. Humphries
 Ask. [Ex: â€œwhat do you need,â€ or â€œwhat can I do?â€]
 Listen. Â [Ex:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â ]
**Please note:  do NOT ask, â€œWhat do you want ME to do about it?â€ That is a silencing tactic, which implies frustration and irritation and is NOT empathetic, or even sympathetic, at ALL!! It ALSO implies you have a God-complex, in which you feel/think you must FIX everything/one, rather than simply allowing them to lean on you, for support and encouragement, or vent to you, as a sounding board, when life is weighing heavy. Â  do NOT simply sit, silently, with no expression, as if you are NOT listening or engaging.Â Utilize ACTIVE listening, with simple responses, like â€œUh-huh,â€ â€œRight,â€ etc.