Optimism is a very fickle thing. It tends to come and go with each passing day. I feel blessed whenever I can catch it again, like I have been blessed with a gift from the gods from some unknown realm. I can seem the most optimistic on the most dreary of days and the least optimistic on the brightest, most sunny days. What determines my optimism? Well, I tend to think about certain things more or less and then I start to get more or less optimistic. Sometimes I’ll read an article about something pertaining to the human race and I’ll probably end up becoming less optimistic for that time period until I forget about it. I wouldn’t call myself a pessimistic person but I’m sure not a bundle of joy with blinders on either.
I know I’m not alone either. This economic downturn has taken quite a toll on American optimism. I don’t blame us either. Things don’t look too good for the foreseeable future and it seems like everywhere we turn there’s always some bad news. I guess it’s what happens when an unapologetic reality collides head on with optimism of the most upward trajectory. I remember back in 2008 when the recession first started, people thought we would not be in this recession for much longer. It’s the tail-end of 2011 and there doesn’t seem like there’s any sign of it letting up either.
The economic recession isn’t the only thing that’s got me thinking about darker days. It’s a whole collection of foolishness that the human race has managed to create during its time on this big blue planet we call Earth. Record stores are vanishing. Everything is being digitized. Prisons are being built everyday. The education system is letting the kids down. The environment is collapsing on itself. Human beings are being cast off to the wayside in favor of profit maximization. Suicide rates are increasing every year. I’ll stop at that considering that there’s enough dread already in this post but I’m pretty sure we all get the gist of it.
Optimism is what drives us towards a better tomorrow. How can we strive towards that if the reserves have been completely drained? Maybe its just another one of these “being human” things but I still can’t seem to shake the feeling that things seem to be on a downward trajectory. It’s funny how humanity entered the new millennium with unbridled optimism. Optimism that we would not see the destruction and death that our ancestors saw in the previous one and that we would lead healthy, happier, more productive lives. The following year of 2001 gave us the 9/11 attacks, the Patriot Act, and the War on Terror. Oh, how quick the weather can change.
I often have older people tell me how things just aren’t how they used to be and how much better they were. I just hope if I ever have young souls to nurture, I won’t ever have to tell them the same.