Of the thousands of battles and casualties scattered across the history of mankind, the philosophy of the highest value was hope. Hope to win a war in which no man could win. Hope that times of depression would fade and a golden era would eradicate such misery. Hope that no matter the circumstances our race would prevail.
Having hope was one of humanity’s greatest mistakes.
Our dependence on optimism is what built the foundations for not only the United States, but the entirety of our universe. It is what guides us, what carries us across the pavement when our legs feel of stone, what took us into space, what consumes our spirits when everything falls to chaos. When an individual feels they have the ability to overpower their weaknesses, to fail to succumb to the darkness of our world, they have won both mentally and physically. This can be seen throughout time, when our existence was littered with tribulations and trouble.
But that is in opposition to our question, for we are to discuss when there are no tribulations or the like. So, what happens when times are prosperous? We make time for merriment and enjoy the bountiful splendors of our realm. From a perspective of a struggle-less life, we find issue in the most trivial of things. It also grants us the liberty to observe the hardship of another’s life—whether that individual be on the other side of the globe or on our doorstep—and utter the words: “I hope it gets better.” When it is not our hardship, we finally notice the powerlessness of the phrase in its singularity. Hope, or “hope,” can be as significant as we make it, since it not a simple mutter but a feeling. In any case, optimism is a joke if not treated with respect, or else it becomes as small as ourselves. (This also brings up a topic which I will touch upon briefly, this being the amplitude of optimism. Having one hopeful person in a population will not be enough to inspire change. Instead, optimism is at its height when a vast number of people have more positive mindsets. This further explains the aforementioned war scenario.)
I believe it is when we struggle, we experience our greatest amount of growth. Periods of reflection on ourselves and our state result in an analysis of our circumstances, giving us the power to assess the improbability of a successful outcome and thus distributing that power to those around us, like pink petals drifting from a flower, or a crimson red branding into one’s skin. In that state, we have a need for optimism. There is no point in having such feelings when we begin to expire in a lifetime of average luxury. One may hope for a better world, but there is no flame to ignite such a will.
To answer the pending question, no. Optimism is a product of calculated fear. If we naturally as a race attainted the qualities of sheer physical endurance through times of difficulty, then we would not need the philosophy. But we are a weak people. And in that weakness, we can inflict great change in our societies, completely rerouting the course of whatever predestined path we had carved for ourselves. Optimism is a rarity, in my parts. Life is dreary and numb when there is nothing to say—nothing to say but all the great tragedies that bring discomfort to a life of near perfection. To place this line of thinking onto the entire world expands this numb feeling on a scale greater than unbearable. We flatline as a species, and our spirits do the same.
Could there be any other perspectives to this situation? Undoubtedly. The pessimism I presented could be entirely inaccurate. Perhaps when the world is perfect, we will still have our internal struggles and all the subsequent optimism we need to get pass it. For it is fact that though the world may be perfect and without problems, humanity is void of such characteristics.
Taking a moment to ponder such a question has left me to look further into myself. Do I hold optimism greatly? Have I ever done so? Hardly, but I could not say no to such questions. It is impossible to know the outcomes of all incoming situations; it is even harder to have the strength—the audacity—to hope. When all the world’s problems are solved, optimism will become a distant memory.
Happy 2019! If you would like to check out my book, Accursed Red, click here!