Day 1–In Defense of Optimism

May 26, 2009

Optimism is not naive.

There is a sense, in our society, that those who are too trusting or too kind will never be vindicated. Assuming the best in people, many assert, only leads to them taking advantage of you.  Why even bother?

It’s assertions like these that make our society less livable.

Assuming the worst in people feels far safer. In a sense, you’ve protected yourself from any surprises. Yet, always fearing the worst case is not a way to live, or a way to build a community. By assuming the worst, you will always be bourn out, because you never give someone the opportunity to prove you wrong. An optimist may be seldom rewarded, but a pessimist will never be.

So, today’s job is: assume the best from people. Don’t jump to negative conclusions. Give people the chance to prove their decency. Maybe you’ll be disappointed ninety percent of the time, but that ten percent will be worth it.

See you tomorrow. We’ve got work to do.

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