DISCLAIMER: This is not an anti-optimism, pessimistic article. This simply aims at rationalising the concept of hope and de-romanticising optimism.
We are living in a world where life has become as wayward as it could and people have started losing a sense of rootedness in this uber globalised world. thinkers have argued that the present scenario is quite similar, though of a different intensity, to the situation of meaninglessness and ennui that arose in the entire world post World War. In today’s time period, there are a large number of people who have started dealing with this existential crisis of theirs by embracing optimism to the fullest and even more. There is an irrational approach towards optimism which lands people into troubled state. The cult of optimism has led to this sort of cul-de-sac situation which needs to be get rid of as soon as possible.
I do not ask people to succumb to the misfortunes of life and have a rotten attitude towards life. You do not have to have an all cribbing approach towards life and you do not have to have a highly romanticised version of everything’s-gonna-be-all right life. One just has to keep all the senses wide open in order to make out something rational of life. Weighing the pros and cons of a situation in an unbiased and just manner, keeping the latent desires, emotional outbursts and feeling aside, is an art that needs to be learnt. However, before learning that way of living life, you need to unlearn whatever preconceptions and misconceptions you have been harbouring over the years in your life.
Who does not like to paint a rosy picture with crimsons and scarlets enmeshed into each other? However, with a thousand roses come a thousand thorns too or perhaps, even more than that. Yet, this does not mean that you should just stop growing roses or that should just do not give a damn about the thorns and keep on gardening without analysing the risk of getting pricked by one of them. The good and bad are two parts of life that are inseparable. A complementing negative is necessary to highlight the beauty of the positive even more. One just has to make sure that one has a keen eye that is sharp enough to identify between the right and wrong and make strategy for further functioning accordingly.
It is good to see the positive side of a certain thing or aspect but it is equally necessary to have a look at the negative that is hiding beneath the lush green surface. If we realise this, it is just going to give an edge to us over everybody else who favours one or the other extremes. And in this age of cut throat competition, be it a simple queue at your nearest Starbucks or a job opportunity, having an edge over others is a thing that everyone wishes for but only a few achieve it realistically. Having a rational approach towards life helps one to develop one’s character and personality in such a way that it just becomes stronger than it has ever been. This attitude makes a person believe in themselves as they do not have to quietly submit to the intangible and ubiquitous forces of fate and destiny wholly. A person is capable then of making the right decisions at the right time or at least not making the wrong decisions. As the rational wheels of a person’s mind churn, it enhances the person’s mental abilities and bails him out of the bars of superstitious and superfluous beliefs that do no good to that person and instead, simply weaken their core strength and confidence.
As G.B. Shaw rightly said, ” Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane and the pessimist, the parachute.” However, this quote would be incomplete if we do not realise that both the aeroplane and the parachute are necessary for a happy life. If one fails, the other can come into its place and make life merry once again. We need both of them to survive and that just means that we are being realistic and rational. Romanticising life in polar extremes does more harm than good. In addition to that, expectations, in this case over-expectations, hurt. Having a notion that life is a fairytale and we all are kings and queens is a notion that could not be more wrong. We just ought to be aware of the fact that life is not a Walt Disney movie. However, we can learn from Walt Disney’s life. A fun fact: Walt Disney, the creator of the cartoon that has been handed over to the next generation by the previous for many decades now, was himself scared of mice! Life is what we make of it. We can either go out on a mice apocalypse and kill all of them, hope that someday all the mice will get vanished someday soon or make an oh-so-awesome cartoon about them and conquer our irrational fears.
So, just be rational. Open your eyes. Control your emotions and desires. Keep a tab on your negativity. And then, decide. Only you can make the most of your life. The choice is yours. Just the lemons or lemons, water and sugar!