I’m a level 9 optimist. I’m not even sure that they label optimism in levels but if they do I’d be a level 9. I would say that 90% of the time I believe everything is going to be just fine, or better. The other 10% of the time I think things might take a turn for the worse but I’ll deal with it and bounce back. I guess that might make me a level 10, but nobody’s perfect.
My optimism stems from confidence – confidence not only in myself but in the abilities and the good nature of those around me. I believe in people. That isn’t easy to do in this day and age with up-to-the-nanosecond internet reporting on all the bad things people are doing all the time. People can be rotten. Despite that I believe that people are, in general, good-natured and want the best for most other people. I think we just hear about the exceptions to that rule more often because they make better stories. Well, not better, but more scandalous. We feed on scandal. That’s probably because we’re primarily good people so we generally avoid personal scandal. The other side is fun to watch. I don’t have any science to back that up, that’s just what I think.
I believe in humanity. That’s even harder to do, but I do. I believe we’ll solve the problems associated with the bad parts of humanity before we destroy ourselves. We’ll get a handle on climate change. I think we’ll end scarcity in my lifetime and put a stop to poverty worldwide. It’s not far-fetched, we already have the means to provide every living being with food, shelter, clothing, education and health care and we just don’t. Greed is the reason why, but I believe as we create universal abundance through advancing technology we can end the need for greed. I believe the age of capitalism is almost over.
I believe the biggest threat to the future of mankind is ignorance. In an age of advancing science and perpetuating knowledge we are too quick to hang on to the ideas of the past, ideas that have created divisiveness in our species. We have created imaginary geographic borders, imaginary theological borders, and imaginary racial and ethnic borders. I believe we are all one people. In time, we will overcome our nationalism and prejudice and we will unite as one human race. I believe the only thing stopping that is ignorance. Ignorance will rise up again and again and divide us, and brother will continue killing brother in the name of race, creed, and country for decades and maybe centuries to come until we evolve. But I believe we will evolve. I’m optimistic.
Every day I wake up and I read the news. I read the atrocities being committed across the globe by people who want land, who want oil, who want money, who want revenge. I’m not blind to the hate I see. I understand it. I read beyond the words being printed about these atrocities and I seek to understand the reasons why. To understand a way that we can make it stop. It will stop when we move beyond the era of greed. It will stop when we move beyond the era of selfishness and national pride. We can use the coming technology and the technology we already have today to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless, to heal the sick and to educate the masses. We can break the monopolization of resources by the few, and shake that money tree. It will stop when we cut it down.
It will not stop until then. The promise of a better tomorrow does not come from the accumulation of wealth and the hoarding of resources, but from the sharing of the same. A better world does not come from divisiveness but from unity. The promise of a better future does not come from ignorance, or from clinging to the broken ideals of yesterday, but from knowledge and from the new ideas of tomorrow. There is not but one way, but there is a way. We can have a better world, be better people. We will.
I believe that.