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I’m optimistic about some things and I’m pessimistic about others.

I’m pessimistic about the idea that life gets better independently of the changes we cultivate in our own thoughts and actions, but I’m optimistic about the idea that we can gradually increase our experience of freedom by challenging ourselves to think more critically and creatively.

For me optimism and pessimism go hand in hand. You can’t be optimistic about the things that can save you until you start being pessimistic about the things that can’t. Hope, if we wish to distinguish it from wishful thinking and self-delusion, must be rooted in an honest acknowledgement of that which has already revealed itself to be hopeless.

Until we’re liberated from blind belief in the people, systems, and ideas that are unworthy of our faith, we will always struggle to see the more promising possibilities of our own nature.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I don’t view pessimism as a corollary to optimism.
    Nor a springboard or threshold to hope. Sounds
    too…. transcendental. (Thinking of the Serenity
    Prayer: Acceptance. Courage. Wisdom.)

    Perhaps you and I have a differing definition of this?

    The past 8 months have been……difficult.
    Personally. Professionally. Setbacks. Pain.
    Disappointments: Cremating rather than
    embalming them.

    We’ve all been there. Some are visiting. Some are
    setting up permanent stakes.

    I navigate this by taking the widest and narrowest
    worldview I can. I still have to live my life day to day
    making the best of each.

    This too shall pass. There is a present and a future
    ahead. Others who have had it much worse. Life
    will throw us some curves. The past thinking and
    mental homework that supports us. Overcoming.
    Creating that rich internal life. (Thinking of Viktor
    Frankl here.)

    Naivety and cynicism are opposites sides of the same
    coin. Both taking the posture of knowing enough to
    know either is a legitimate state. Without knowing more.
    Blocking the path to more knowledge and insight.

    Mistakenly equating naivety with purity. Cynicism with realism.

    Being a realist, I can hold off on premature judgments and
    conclusions. Searching for more information. (Knowledge.)

    I see hopelessness arising from denying or defying reality.
    Within and without.

    But then I think of reality as the best and beautiful place to be.
    Here. Now. Whatever the circumstances. And what I learn
    from all this.

    You’ve written something complicated here. T.K. I might be
    misreading this.

    I so love your posts and have read many of your past ones.
    (And reread many.) It’s good to know you’re in the world
    out there.

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