An Open Letter To Pessimism

Subject: An Open Letter To Pessimism
From: An English Student
Date: 14 Jan 2019

Dear pessimism,

Pessimism, you’re like a parasite in the minds of us all. A good parasite, but a parasite nonetheless. You’re great, you make us all take a good, hard look at society, and see whats wrong. But here’s the issue, you’re what's wrong.

Don’t worry, I understand. Why would we want to get rid of you, you’re the one that knocks us back down, sets us down a peg, shows us the reality of life. But you’ve changed. Instead of using this reality to better society, you’ve now just broken the spirits of the world itself. I understand, the world is a horrible place, tragedy after tragedy, death after death, it’s no wonder people aren’t all that happy; but you’re definitely not helping.

I must ask, what happened between you and optimism? You would show us the problems, and optimism would come in and help fix them. Instead you show us a problem, and optimism takes a back seat as everyone loses their minds. Take a look at the current state of the world, we are slowly destroying it, and yet we think that it is inevitable. This kind of attitude is self destructive, and yet it’s so avoidable, we just have to take a step and back and push you out.

You’ve made our current generation hopeless, that a dream for a better future is futile.

You’d think with the increase in awareness over mental health, that this would not be an issue. It makes sense right? If we can see the issues in ourselves, why not work to solve them. Sadly the opposite seems true. The more we think about what’s wrong with us, the worse it gets. We are stuck in this cycle of blocking out the positive, because the negative is so much more presentable. The sad part is it’s completely our fault, media can sit there and talk about what’s wrong with the world and we will debate over it for so long, yet we get any good news and we go “oh that’s great”, and go back to sulking.

Don’t get me wrong, pure optimism isn’t all that great either. It’s blind hope, without any true goal or realistic application. That’s why we need you, but we aren’t using you properly. You’ve taken control, and now we aren’t learning our mistakes, we’re just making the same ones.

Believing that pessimism is the only way to fix problems is mental suicide.

It’s a scary thought really, without the drive to be better, what will happen to the world over time? Are we all just going to sit there and let ourselves rot as we crumble apart. Even worse, not only are you making us worried for the future, but you’re making us ignore the past as well. Did you know that in America you are more dominant in 71% of the population. Or that those exact people believe that issues like crime or teenage pregnancy have consistently gone up over time. Even though both of these have slowly decreased over that period of time.

You’re making us scared of issues that aren’t even there.

We can all see it around us. You can’t have a conversation with anyone anymore without them bringing in some baggage. Whether it be personal or societal, environmental or political, everyone has issues, but no one seems to have the solutions. So let me start off with some steps for us to improve as a society. Stop thinking of how crude life can be. Not everything can be perfect and I understand that, but leave a little something for us to see some potential. Secondly, allow us to take a good hard look at what good is going on in the world. There is no life without death, no joy without lose, redemption without guilt. So don’t focus on that last test you failed, interview you screwed, relationship that didn’t quite work out. Instead see these as learning opportunities, and let them build you up as a person. My third and final step is the simplest, yet most important of them all.

Leave us alone pessimism.

Sincerely, Society.