Neutrals are most often negative

sitting_on_the_fence_lg_whtNeutral in the Positive Imperative context most often leaves you nowhere, neither here nor there. In the context of PI (Positive Imperative), it is most often directed towards fence sitting when there is a problem or with a negative that needs to be responded to. The phrases often heard…. “hey don’t look at me, I didn’t do it”…. it’s not my problem! “

The list of neutral words are long indeed. Most often associated with neutral are words like procrastinateambivalence  indifference, apathy and many often used phrases like fence sitting. You can see in context a longer list as they relate to both negative and positive words on the PosiWords page.

Most importantly in the Positive Imperative the Neutral context is that if you are not aiding the problem or working on the solution then you’re doing nothing and contributing to the problem.

The other evening I was in the park and some kids had knocked over a garbage can. They were the negative, and the person who stopped to pick it up was the positive, however the five people that walked by and did nothing were the neutral.

Doing nothing is very hard to do…you never know when you’re finished.-Leslie Nielsen


“The hottest place in hell remains for people who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” Dr. Martin Luther King


“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” ~ Paulo Freire


“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” ~ Bishop Desmond Tutu.


“There is no neutral ground in the universe, every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter claimed by Satin.” ~ C.S. Lewis


I” don’t believe it’s possible to be neutral. The world is already moving in certain directions. And to be neutral, to be passive, in a situation like that, is to collaborate with what is going on. And I, as a teacher, don’t want to be a collaborator.” ~ Howard Zinn from his book “You Can’t Be Neutral On A Moving Train” (2004).


In short, we cannot grow, we cannot achieve authentic discovery, and our eyes cannot be cleansed to the truly beautiful possibilities of life, if we simply live a neutral existence. ~Armstrong Williams


Life in Neutral? “It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.” ~ Zig Ziglar


Life in Neutral? The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them

“Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.” ~ Rev. Jesse Jackson


People who demand neutrality in any situation are usually not neutral but in favor of the status quo. ~ Max Eastman


The minute your shift into Neutral when you’re trying to go up a hill, you start going backwards.


Neutrals happen in many shapes and forms. All of them negative. Apathy and Indifference!

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhuman

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

Elie Wiesel

Democracy is a perfect example. 

It is very easy to be cynical about government and elected politicians    However unless we hold our politicians accountable we are “letting them get away with it” or condoning their behavior.  If you don’t stand for something, you end up standing for nothing.  It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when there is no perfect candidate you want to put 100% of your support behind, however that too is a cop out if you’re often on of  thousands who don’t vote and use that excuse to justify your stance.   There are many variations of the quote / idea  ; People get the Government they deserve, and they deserve the government they get.  SO, if you want better government  participate   If you don’t don’t complain!

Think about democracy as your most prized and cherished position, and you’re holding it in your arms.  How are you going to treat it?  Are you going to take care of it, and protect it, or leave it on the street with the trash?    If you cherish something you protect it, be it your home, your children or democracy.


The PosiRatio says that Negatives do 10 x the damage or a ripple effect that reaches 10%degrees of separation, but did you ever stop and think that Neutrals cause 5 x the damage or a ripple effect that reaches 5 degrees of separation.   When you are in a position where you should speak up and you don’t, often you feel back, the situation you were to speak up gets no resolve and if that involves a person they feel bad, and still worse if your kids are watching and they see your inaction they may also take on this behavior as acceptable.


PIQ Positive Imperative Question.

We will say this over and over again, either we are a part of solutions or we are a part of the problem!  Which are you?


Have a Positively Wonderful Life 




Victor Sinclair

PI/PMI Founder




Victor Sinclair. VP of VSC International, Founder of the Positive Imperative and the Positive Music Imperative movements/concept and community, has a wide background in teaching, broadcasting, the music industry and business and most recently served as a founder and Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham Canada). He has also dedicated more than 30 years of his life to volunteerism and not for profits including Big Brothers, Memorial Boys and Girls Clubs, Minor Leagues Sports and as a President and board member of several not-for-profit boards. Interests include family, biking, tennis, reading, music and PI/PMI of course. http://www.vscinternationalcorp.com http://www.positiveimperative.com http://www.positivemusicimperative.com http://www.twitter.com/posimperative http://www.facebook.com/Vic.Sinclair http://www.linkedin.com/in/victorsinclair

5 Responses to “Neutrals are most often negative”

Wayne Armstrong May 14, 2009

I really like this post. It his the nail on the head. Too many people love to complain and not do anything about it. I met a few people in my city Houston, who refused to vote in the last election because they thought the system was corrupt. Well you only get the Govt. you deserve and when People don’t vote they abdicate their responsibility. To me that’s a crime.

Mark Twain put it best.

“Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let me label you as they may.”

When it comes to this concept, this blog has it right…. there is no Neutral, only Negative.

So people, BE are part of the solution. and get off your fences !

Dawn May 19, 2009

I absolutely love the last quote! “The minute you shift into neutral when you’re trying to go uphill, you start going backwards!”

How easily this can be applied to ones everyday goals and aspirations! Its so easy to slip into that neutral comfortable mode but this quote will certainly act as my Posiminder when developing strategies for growth in all aspects of my life!

Halady B K Prabhu June 11, 2009

I never thought that being Neutral was being negative and adding to the problem. It is as good as good as giving silent assent to the problem or contributing to it.

If one thinks more deeply about this and applies it to recent history – look at all the crimes committed by mankind in history. The holocaust in Nazi Germany, the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein are good examples.

The world turned a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by the Dictators in power and it ballooned to problems out of proportions resulting in the deaths of millions of innocent human beings. We should take efforts to nip them such problems in the bud and not let it grow.

And all this happened because the world initially decided to stay Neutral to the problem!

loretta greene February 24, 2012

I can see this happening in a family situation I have witnessed, this is so true!

Rich Antcliff January 1, 2011

I have taken a kids motorized truck, placed it on a board, put the truck in neutral, than slowly raised the board at the front of the truck. The truck begins to go backwards even though it is in neutral. The problem is, in life, the board is never flat. If we are not moving forward, we are moving backwards, there is no status quo.

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