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The Importance of Being Optimistic

file3831269347533I am an optimist. I can’t help it. Perhaps I could blame it on my name, since you can’t really be a Debbie downer with the name Sunny. Sure, I do have my share of frights and fears and I do worry about the future. But generally I like to believe that everything will work out just fine.

I’ve always been this way and people have always been annoyed by it. Some people really can’t stand those who are cheery, so I’ve learned to take it down a notch when hanging out with those who are visibly bothered by enthusiasm.  One thing is that being optimist just isn’t ‘cool,’ and not just in real life, it’s something that is not always tolerated online either.

Zachary Karabell wrote a piece for the Reuters entitled,  The Audacity of Optimism for his column The Edgy Optimist. Karabell has noticed something in the reactions to his pieces stating, ” what’s been perplexing about responses to this column, however, isn’t whether the analysis is right or wrong, wise or naïve, but that the very hint of optimism makes a fair number of people extremely angry.” Yes, “angry.”

Karabell notes:

“Optimism, as the theoretical physicist David Deutsch so brilliantly describes in The Beginnings of Infinity, doesn’t mean surety about good future outcomes. Optimism is simply the certainty that any human progress to date has been a product of our collective ability to understand how things work and to craft solutions.”

Without optimism, why would anybody do anything about today or tomorrow. Why would we ever get out of bed.

Karabell says that, “the conviction that the present is a prelude to a bad future negates that collective ability. Yes, we may indeed be at the end of the line, but by angrily dismissing optimistic arguments we are likely to fail more rapidly.”

This is very true, if optimism is attacked and killed, then how will things ever get better?

And an important thing; we need to instill optimism into our children. Without it, there is no reason they would try to excel at school, to think positively about their future, to try anything and everything. While some of us adults do and have lost faith, we must still give our children hope. They still have a whole lot of years ahead of them, and we want them to look forward to them with anticipation rather than dread, and being optimistic is a key part of that. Optimism is contagious, and if we share a positive outlook with our children, it would be very hard for them to resist striving for happiness.

How do you feel about optimism? Do you think it’s annoying or do you think it’s a joke?

Photo Source: Morgue File

 

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