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Is it a Moral Obligation to be an Optimist?

March 2, 2012

ImageI scanned the most recent Chronicle of Higher Education and saw this question in bold type.  I didn’t read the article but was somehow validated by the title.  It seems impossible to have a conversation with anyone that doesn’t take an inevitable turn for the negative.  There’s research about how our brains work that suggests we have a natural tendency to look on the dark side, consider the worst – a biological adaptation that kept us safe from Sabre tooth tigers and other predators but less helpful when the most ubiquitous predators are politicians and bankers.  Oops sounds a bit negative here….

Facing some unpleasant realities about the state of the planet if not our home town, this adaptation simply prepares us to sit and watch- tsk tsking and nodding our heads as we watch things falling apart. We have a window of opportunity to be more proactive and push against the negative changes that are going on around us, but not everyone sees any light, let alone a window.  Is it our responsibility if we do see light to do something about it? Spread the word of hope and optimism?  I think so.  And is it a moral obligation to try and be an optimist if you know that pessimism means more of the same – devolution?  I think so.  What  do you think?


One Comment leave one →
  1. May 28, 2013 10:59 am

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