The ‘wicked world syndrome’ is where we see so much suffering and evil around us
that we begin to believe, wrongly, that happiness is not possible.
Martin Seligman, who is influential in the field of positive psychology, provides a welcome alternative, arguing that “there is not a shred of evidence that strength and virtue are derived from negative motivation”.
Adherence to the ‘fundamentally evil’ school leads to the ‘wicked world syndrome’, where we see so much suffering and evil around us that we begin to believe happiness is not possible.
It only needs one good thing to give the lie to this argument and this is one of the best reason for recording good things. If there is one good thing in our world, just one thing to be grateful for, it becomes impossible to argue that humanity is essentially corrupt, pessimistic and incapable of happiness.
(Inspired by Matthieu Ricard’s guide to developing happiness, life’s most important skill.)
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