Building on our post from last week, Success Stories: Positive News and African Development, we are sharing here a post from the Africa Good News blog. How do you think mindsets about Africa affect development? Share your thoughts!
Hope for Africa: The power of positive thinking
Imagine Africa – only better. Imagine the realisation of oceans of potential, culminating in an explosion of development. Imagine what would happen if more people, Africans and non-Africans, believed in Africa. Countless people have testified to the power of positive thinking and its effects on their lives. Based on the principle that positive energy attracts more positive energy, also known as the ‘Law of Attraction’, this blog calls on everyone (yes, this includes you) to wholeheartedly believe in Africa. One person can make a difference, but if millions of people make collective short- and long-term efforts to embrace hope and faith for Africa, the combined mass of positive energy could help to produce exponential growth and progress for the African continent.
It is true that negative feelings, thoughts and writing about the state of Africa reflect the current state of some things to some extent. Yet, it is also true that continuously negative focus on things we don’t want for Africa simply produces more of the same – famine, violence, corruption and so on. Some call their negativity ‘realism’ and say we cannot improve anything unless we identify the problems and shortcomings that cause that problem, all the while ignorant that their ‘realism’ in fact creates reality, acting as a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy. In fact, ‘realism’ about Africa is often permeated with negative undertones of blame: let us blame colonialists, imperialism, apartheid, corruption, patriarchy, capitalism, governments and traitors for Africa’s problems. It is easier to blame than to focus on solutions, right?
There is a fine line between realism and optimism. I am not proposing that we forget about the continent’s challenges – of course we need to acknowledge, analyse and act on them. The state of mind that we employ to do this, however, is the locus of the dynamics of our mind’s power. How many positive articles do you read in African news? How many positive thoughts do you have about the African continent? Is it easier to accept that Africa will always lag behind? Is it much more challenging to believe that it is a strong, vibrant continent with much potential for peace and all the other ingredients of general happiness? When reading and hearing positive things about Africa, one is encouraged to think positively about Africa. The more optimism we cultivate and support, the more great things will come Africa’s way.
We can recognise problems, but conceptualise them as challenges to be overcome, not immovable mountains! Sometimes it is hard to believe – images of poverty and famine break my heart. How will Africa ever overcome these things?
We must recognise that the power to create something better, something wonderful, despite these challenges, lives within each of us. Encouragement is positive. Hope is positive. Solutions are productive. Instead of running campaigns against gender-based violence (GBV), run campaigns that focus on gender equality and happy families. Instead of research and journalism that focus solely on problems, incorporate as a rule recommendations for possible solutions to the issues at hand.
Admittedly, change takes time. If you are committed to Africa, be in it for the long run and bring as many believers with you as you can. Every step forward counts. Even if you can’t make a physical or financial contribution, your positive thoughts will help to attract more good things to Africa. “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions,” said Albert Einstein. Who believes in a bright future for Africa? I do!