Is Optimism Inappropriate Now?

Optimism is never misplaced or inappropriate. But it needs to be in the context of reality.

Murray "MJ" Blehart
6 min readSep 14, 2020

Optimism in the world today seems like a Pollyanna, rose-colored glasses, unrealistic attitude.

In the United States, we are still in the middle of an out-of-control pandemic; an utterly disheartening and frustrating election; a government that cares way more about the money than the people; out-of-control, militarized police forces murdering indiscriminately — and getting away with it; a President obsessed with dictators and hoping to become one himself; and a whole host of other insanity.

It feels very doom-and-gloom. Further, it feels a lot like optimism in the face of it is ridiculous.

Except that it’s not.

There are three facts to take into consideration as to why optimism is not ever inappropriate.

1. We live in a fear-based society

One of the reasons we’re all hyper-aware of the above issues is because this is a fear-based society in which we live. Fox News is all about hyping the fears of their viewers and making them MORE afraid. To a different and less-intentional degree, the rest of the media also hypes fear — because fear sells.

How often is the news — whatever form you consume it in — negative? This war, that disease, this horrid leader, that criminal, and on and on. It stokes the fires and makes people reactionary.

Business is often modeled this way. My wife, for example, spends 2/3 of her day putting out fires. This is largely due to poor planning and quick sales without forethought — and insufficient staff — dealing with unhappy customers. Everything is a crisis. And if you don’t meet the crisis head-on — jobs will be lost, people will be fired — or at least that’s what the fear is.

Fear sells and then is used to disempower.

One of the best ways to combat this — besides reason — is optimism. A little optimism in the face of all the fear is a light in a dark room.

The form of optimism I am writing about I’ll explain further ahead. But a fear-based society easily gives way to pessimism. And the best weapon…

Murray "MJ" Blehart

I explore mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. I love to help & inspire. And I also write sci-fi/fantasy.