Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Benefits of Optimism

A lot of my friends and authors I admire and thinkers I nod along in agreement with are pessimists, generally speaking. And skeptics and naysayers. The only (fairly predictable) problem is: optimism is good for you. The question is: Can one cultivate optimism, or is one’s outlook in this regard part of the circuitry, essentially immovable? It's probably the most important question I've yet asked on this blog -- not hard to conclude, given that the runner-up is something like "Has anyone heard the new Beth Orton album?"

And the question is probably tied, in all kinds of interesting ways, to the realm of belief, religion, etc. But it's already been a loooong week, and I'll be damned if I have the energy or brainpower to get into all that now. Maybe someday soon.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Nick said...

It seems worth making a distinction between skepticism (of the kind practiced by the professional sarcasts we like), which is global or societal, and pessimism, which is personal. I think it's pretty common among smartish, youngish people to believe that the world is going to shit (or at least blog about it that way) but still feel that their own lives will be reasonably happy.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous lfw said...

hey no fair! nick stole my distinction!

11:26 AM  

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