Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Are You Optimistic About?

I started reading a book by that title, a compilation of essays by "today's best thinkers."
Today's best thinkers, apparently, are optimistic that religion will soon be eradicated, that people will realize God isn't real, and on, and on, and on. I got pretty fed up with it. I sent a scary email to one guy who is a fancy philosophy professor, at least one hundred years old, and actually not optimistic. He's actually quite crabby.

But I am optimistic, and I want to tell you about it.

I'm optimistic that someday women will revolutionize against unrealistic expectations and ridiculous media messages and demand a change. I picture riots in malls, clawing at the airbrushed Victoria's Secret signs demanding justice; writing in to Carl's Jr. and them pulling their awful ads; magazines losing subscribers by the billions because we've had enough. It makes my heart smile.
 I'm optimistic that I'll age gracefully, like my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother. I'm confident I'll embrace wrinkles when they come and still value age and wisdom over silicone boobs.

I'm optimistic that one day the education system will be reformed by a legislature who gets it, and that teachers will realize how foolish the unions are, and that somewhere and almost everywhere children will get a high quality education from K to 12 from caring professionals who love what they do. I'm hopeful that I will be a vehicle to such change, as a reformer and advocate for, ummm....reason and logic? Yeah, that's it.

How did things possibly get here? How is it possible that a big enough knot of people thought all this standardized crap was a good idea, when we believe in America as the melting pot of greatness in talents and abilities that can't even be described, let alone measured by fill-in-bubbles?
Well, back to optimism.

I'm optimistic that collectively we will realize how broken we are and use our collective genius to make repairs.
I'm optimistic about the creative capacity of humans everywhere in solving problems, pioneering innovation, and making the world more beautiful. I'm optimistic that the world will go in a positive direction, creatively at least, because of the innate nature of human beings. I'm optimistic that the hoards of folks working jobs they hate will eventually give voice to their dreams, follow their bliss and set fire to the system that claims money as the answer to that aching pit in your belly. I'm optimistic that the composite good of the world will outweigh and eventually stamp out more bad than can replenish itself.

Yes, I'm optimistic that the nature of human beings is inherently good, with potential broad and deep enough to stretch in all directions and blanket the world, shape it into an all-around wonderful place.

What about you? What are you optimistic about?

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