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The Problem With Thinking "Positive"

     This nine weeks, I was given the opportunity to choose any book that I wanted to read. I chose Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I'd hear a lot of good things about it from friends and online, and I was excited to read it for myself.
     Milk and Honey was a new genre for me: poetry. I had no idea what to expect but as soon as I started I found it hard to put the book down. I started by just reading 20 pages the night I got it, but each night when I started reading, I found the urge to keep reading got stronger and stronger. It's a short book (about 200 pages, but there are lots of illustrations) so I finished it in about 5 days, reading at about 40 pages per night.
     The book features short poems that tell stories of lessons the author has learned. It is divided into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. One of my favorite poems in the book comes from the fourth section. It says "It is part of the human experience to feel pain, don't be afraid to open yourself to it" (152).
     I felt that this poem was interesting because, in the context of the 21st century, you wouldn't expect someone to be so open about pain. Nowadays, we live in society that encourages everyone to "be happy" and "stay positive". Even though I would argue that we have become a lot more willing to sympathize with the struggles of others, we are seldom encouraged to recognize our own. Many of us have learned to handle negative emotions by avoiding them all together. We watch silly shows, listen to music, or "think happy thoughts"-- all in an effort to distract ourselves and avoid feeling the most basic and natural feeling there is : pain.
     I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to maintain a positive outlook or try to live happy lives. I'm only agreeing with the author's point that we shouldn't avoid pain entirely.  It is a natural human emotion and isn't something to fear. Instead of avoiding it, we should embrace it as part of the human experience, as something that is necessary and helps us to learn and grow as human beings.


  1. Your ability to explain in detail the book is amazing. It gives me a feeling that the overall schematic of the book is revealed, and a descriptive preview is available. Also, the relation to today's social problems is a very strong connection.


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