Thursday, May 2, 2013

Optimist on the offensive

Hey blogoworld,

Eric here. I'm going to get right to the point. Is it just me, or are there more terrible things in the U.S. lately than usual?? Boston, the fertilizer plant in Texas, not a single law to curb gun violence passed, Guantanamo Bay, etc.

Let me tell you it feels more difficult than ever to be an optimist in the deluge of depressing news. And to those of you reading who might remember, this is coming from the guy who got "Most Pessimistic" in my senior year of high school. Needless to say I have radically transformed my worldviews over the last several years. But sometimes, it is unbelievably difficult. 

Weird thing is, I think that terrible news actually inspires my newfound optimism. Humans have terrible potential. But the capacity for love is so much greater. Hearing stories of Gabrielle Giffords refusing to give up to the NRA, marathon runners running straight across the finish line to the hospital to give blood, states working toward marriage equality; it's these things that I pick out through the noise of the relentless news media and hope that others do the same. 

I have been feeling a sense of patriotism that is previously unfamiliar to me, inspired by these stories. It inspires me to get involved, or at least be informed. I have the desire to be politically involved, moreso than I have before. (Though I unfortunately don't really know where to start.) I believe it's time to believe in government, believe in the power of democracy again. 

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice."

Inspiring words from Theodore Parker. Probably my favorite quote of all time.

Because love trumps bummers.

Now here is a picture of Assisi. 


  1. This gives me hope for the future of humanity!

  2. Eric, I love this post, and you two have the best blog! Unlike you, in high school I was the obnoxiously cheerful one who drove all her friends crazy with her stubborn optimism, guess I still am but it's the best feeling to read your own sentiments written down in another person's words. Optimism is, in my opinion and contrary to popular belief, the harder choice when it comes to world views, because it isn't at all about just believing that everything is perfectly fine or will magically turn out that way in the end, it's about seeing the bad and the good equally in the world and choosing consciously (and courageously) to believe that, well, love trumps bummers ;)
    P.s. You should check out a book called Soul of a Citizen, kyler and i read it in our senior seminar and its all about being positively (and realistically) engaged in our social/political system.