Dick Jones of Patteran Pages (see my blog list) has posed a series of erudite questions which he has taken from a site called, simply, Edge. They are all questions which require an awful lot of thought. They were originally posed to the "great and the good" - i.e. scientists, philosophers etc
(all men, but we won't go into that here) - but Dick has answered them in an interesting way. So if you want to read questions and answers you need to go over to his site.
They are the sort of questions which make my nutmeg brain hurt! But I have been considering them and I shall address but one here (he invites us all to comment on them if we wish). I might address another one on another day but, frankly, I can only deal with one at a time. So here is the question:
What are you optimistic about?
Well, blog friends, I am optimistic about everything. Optimism is merely a state of mind, a concept and as such it has little bearing on the outcome of any situation. If you agree with that then you should also agree with me that there is little point in being pessimistic. I tried to think of a concrete situation rather than a hypothetical one in which the optimism/pessimism issue was to the fore. I remembered way back to 1939 when it became obvious that the appeasement of Hitler was not going to work, when the news was all black and it seemed inevitable that there would be war. I was a very small child. We were supposedly going on holiday for a week to the seaside and I had been talking about it for weeks. A few days before we were due to go my mother decided she could not even bear to pack the suitcase and, although I wittered and wittered (not understanding the course of events of course) she refused to get things ready and on the day we should have gone, instead we stood at our gate, along with the rest of the village after listening to Chamberlain's eleven o'clock broadcast "I have to tell you that we have received no such letter and that we are therefore at war with Germany". My mother was right not to go on holiday, you may be thinking. But I have to tell you that for a few weeks we were in for what became known as a "phoney war"; the weather was that beautiful early Autumn weather that can only really happen here in the British Isles and my mother never forgot that her pessimism cost us a week's holiday. For the rest of her life (and she did not die until 1971) she would sometimes remember that time and would say "We should have gone on that holiday you know - the weather was so good. It would have set us up nicely to fight that war!!"
So I am optimistic about things. If I sit here thinking that the awful war in Afghanistan is going to go on for years, that the world recession will never end, that swine flu is going to become an awful pandemic and sweep through the world, that I have lived my three score years and ten and could therefore pop off at any minute - what good will it do? None of those things will change in the slightest because I sit here in a pessimistic cloud. So - look on the bright side, I say - you have nothing to lose.