The Trait of Confidence
What makes someone like Barack Obama confident? Surely it's innate: the neurotransmitter, whatever it is, responsible for feeling confident in oneself is in apparently inexhaustible or near-inexhaustible supply, and a natural aversion to "downers" helps as well. However confidence is felt the same from confident person to confident person -- their politics and values also plays a role.
The negativist individual tends to have life tougher than the positivist. They tend to dwell on the problems of the world, and unless insulated by wealth are like to lose themselves in them. But now, the confident negativist is confident because they have a relationship to positivity unlike their peers. Confidence is the belief that one's own relationship to the world can either be improved, or will remain positive. The unconfident may believe that the world can be improved, but they may not believe that their relation to it can be (particularly because they are open to sacrificing their own potential for a greater settlement with the world on behalf of the betterment of the world itself. Instead, they try to find an internal one).
The confident negativist can take one of three positions justifying their self-confidence:
- Their position is unfavorable, but it could be worse and there is reason to be thankful. (these are your yoga fanatics and tofu eaters)
- Their position may be unfavorable, but they have the potential to improve it. (this is Obama's)
- Their position may be unfavorable, but others have the power to improve it if they wish. (remember Obama's pastor at United Trinity?)
All negativists believe their relationship to the world exemplary... it is the world which is comparatively ungrateful for their contributions.
The confident positivist takes the position that while the world's relationship to them is acceptable, their relationship to it is lacking. But they believe they can improve themselves such that they meet par with the negativist heroes they revere (not to mention the accomplished positivists of the past).
The confident positivist can take one of three positions justifying self-confidence:
- They may not be perfect, but nobody is and therefore, no one has a right to judge. (this is the position of the go-getter corporate type). This traits permits insulation from others' criticism.
- They are lacking in some respects, but through hard work and dedication they can improve themselves. (this is the position of charismatic confident conservatives, like Bobby Jindal, David Cameron, and even Abe Lincoln)
- They know they are imperfect and feel powerless to improve themselves but... perhaps someone will touch them, deep inside, and help them change.