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The test of universality for any platitude about positive thinking is can it be reasonably said of a child prostituted into sex slavery in Thailand, who has no prospects but a life of misery and agony, and an agonizing death alone and in disease, her self-worth ripped apart and her health ravaged and neglected? If it can’t, it’s a whitebread platitude – one that only works in a context of affluence. Doesn’t means it’s not true in that context, or useful, but let’s not pretend it’s an absolute about the world.

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