The Optimistic Pessimist – Difference between pragmatism & negativity

So time and again I rant about how I’ve been reprimanded for a “negative outlook” in my approach to writing. I call it practicality – I don’t know what you make of it. In recent times, I have been inspired by a wonderful writer & speaker who told of how one can never prepare for all the circumstances – regardless how seamless your plans might appear, how many contingencies you organize, you’ll never be able to accurately gauge the outcomes. Regardless, I’ll leave praises to another occasion and share the main point here.

I read What the Titanic Means Today on TIME Ideas .Read it for yourself. And, my key takeaways include:

1. Never be complacent – what we see today as “comfort” and “superiority” cannot last forever unless we constantly innovate & stay ahead of the game.
2. Quoting the article “We can never innovate nor create ourselves totally out of harm’s way”.

So where’s the link to the title of this post? Here’s my take:
Negativity is when you look at Point 1 and say, yeah life’s tough. It’s transient and nothing good is forever so, tough. Look at Point 2 above, and say, yeah we can’t do much so let’s not do anything more.

Practicality, which in self-defence I wish to associate myself with, is when you look at Point 1 and say, yeah so this is going to be difficult, so keep trying. And then look at Point 2 and say, yeah we don’t ever steer clear of harm’s way – it’ll find you even if you don’t find it. Do what you can to your very best to make things less terrible than it already is.

Now, how can that be considered pessimism? I prefer to call that an optimistically-pessimistic view of the world. It’s about acknowledging the potential problems that exist around us and hedging it. Problems don’t just vanish because you chose to pretend it didn’t happen. And I could repeat again – positivity doesn’t just resolve global issues – if we don’t recognise our issues, we won’t get down to solving it.

After all,  “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

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