“Ever the Optimist.”
“You need to be realistic.” “Better to be a pessimist so you won’t be surprised when it all goes to hell.” “How can you believe that ‘good things’ can happen? This world is such a mess! You can’t change that.”
I have to swallow a combination of rage and laughter. I grit my teeth and smile. There is no answer possible without a much deeper understanding. Like two cultures or strong beliefs meeting on equal ground and being able to truly communicate.
I am an optimist. Not as a studied philosophical point of view. Not as a “power of positive thinking” or “you get what you expect” or “god will protect me” thing. I have tried this kind of self-talk and found it limiting.
My optimism is an acceptance and maybe “attitude of gratitude”. I am as aware of the world around me as anyone. Maybe I believe that the world of entropy and danger that many see is also a world of creation and life.
Helen Keller said something about “The world is either a glorious adventure or it is nothing.”
Glorious adventures are not built on pessimism or what passes for realism.
The reality that surrounds me contains opportunities and miracles, good people and hope. I don’t deny the potential for danger. Isn’t danger a part of any adventure?
I am less afraid of the “common folk” who have fought for their survival than I am of the bankers and plutocrats who have the meritocracy and entitlements of power. Yet, both exist.
You must have some deep optimism to attempt anything new. Whether it is writing something new or starting a company, being realistic or pessimistic can destroy you before you begin. This doesn’t mean that you ignore the “real world”, but knowing your vision and your tools, you push forward into the wilderness of the future, ready to learn and be thankful.
I am an optimist. “Blind” optimism has helped me through severe bouts of depression and anxiety. It makes me research the causes of things that affect my life. It is why you are reading this and why I am writing it.
Optimism and creativity focus forward despite the potential disasters. It is not the course that everyone will take into the future, but the future will be there either way.
That’s the way that I see it. How about you?