Scary Optimism

A well known author has spoken out against all the hope and enthusiasm people feel about Obama’s election. It’s not him she’s afraid of, it’s hope. Hope and optimism seems dangerous to her because they could so easily lead to disappointment.

This particular author is a woman I’ve long admired and pitied. I’ve admired her because she’s a gifted writer whose prose strikes to the bone. I’ve pitied her because she was handed the world on a silver platter and spent her life decrying every spot of tarnish she found on it. When finally confronted with true loss, she suffered more than any other human being has ever suffered, and made sure the world noticed.

Once a beautiful woman, she now turns a ravaged face to the world and demands that we all share her anguish. Her anguish is no longer over the genuine losses she suffered, but the anguish of having verified that life is truly as bad as she always thought it was. From her perspective, people who have hope are too stupid to see the truth, and it annoys the hell out of her.

Talented or not, we all have the same choices she has had: we can live with optimism or without it. Either way, we’re going to have times of disappointment. We’re going to experience disillusionment. We’re going to lose people we have loved, and we’re going to suffer. But those down times don’t come often, and it’s the span of time between disappointment and pain that really sum up how much satisfaction we’ve had in our lives.

I still admire the author’s talent, and I still feel that she could be a lot happier if she chose to be.


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