Optimism in the Face of Disaster

People tend to hold on to pessimism because they see it as a form of realism. For example, ‘There are hard and negative things in life, and it’s looking at life through rose-colored glasses to ignore them.’ This of course is true, but the error of pessimism is not to the benefit of realism. The error of pessimism is in giving the negative more power than the positive, when in fact it makes more sense to give the positive more power or emphasis. For example, you could live in a free society filled with mediocre or average people. But the society is free, so the best and brightest—a minority—are free to produce, create and innovate without anyone getting in their way. The presence of this minority of exceptionally capable people is way more important than the fact that some people are bad, many are mediocre or average, or perhaps (arguably) many of the average could be better if they just worked harder and used their minds better. This is just one example of how the negative matters less than the positive.