One of the all time cliched questions is are you an optimist or a pessimist - a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person? Whereupon we think and then readily declare ourselves on one side or the other. Furthermore, we also know when asked this question that really there is only one currently acceptable response. All together - TA DA! POSITIVE! Well today I would like to introduce the idea that to declare yourself one thing or the other is unrealistic. Surely to experience moments of both optimism and pessimism is the norm? To sometimes feel euphoric and sometimes feel sad and perhaps some of the time to feel nothing in particular?
One of the worst things that pervades western society currently in my opinion is the idea that we should be happy every single minute of our waking lives. My question is what for? It's as if we all want to be in some sort of Brave New World where no one ages or feels pain. Of course disease and the effect of age were eliminated in Huxley's novel by a contracted death but I don't think that would catch on do you? Instead it feels as if we all want to live to the age of Methuselah whilst looking about twenty five. This reminds me of someone I worked with who wanted counselling because she couldn't stand the idea of developing facial lines and she was all of 28! but I digress. Of course without the pain where is the pleasure. This is not an advertisement for S & M but a reasoned response suggesting that part of life is about experiencing pain, pleasure, deep emotions. How can you do all of that and remain in a permanent state of optimism?
It is possible I think to view life in an optimistic way. By that I mean being aware that things happen outside our control but that we have the wherewithal to cope and that eventually we can overcome. To put it another way shit happens but what matters is how we deal with it. In fact in my opinion that is about all we can be sure of?