A Cockeyed Optimist

Despite the fact that I should be old enough to know better, to be steeped and steeled in curmudgeonly cynicism, I still insist (albeit with difficulty sometimes) in maintaining a positive outlook.  At this particular moment in the history of humanity’s tumultuous adolescence it is all too easy to slide into indulgently morbid complainer mode.  We are surrounded by this phenomenon on a daily basis but, honestly, I have no desire to provide misery with its much sought after company.

Sure I have my fair share of ugly mood swings.  It is simply impossible to be positive if you bottle stuff up inside you like a festering boil.  I am not afraid to admit that I indulge in the occasional moment of seeming insanity, the occasional tantrum or rant, which is usually followed by a gratifying sense of serenity and oneness with the universe.  I also admit this tendency of mine drives my kids nuts.  My 16 year-old finds it particularly infuriating.  I keep explaining to her that by releasing the frustration I’m able to get enough distance from it to realize just how ridiculous the pretext was in the first place (most of the time) so that it becomes much easier to get past it.  In a perfect world this process wouldn’t need to be externalized at all.  For the moment however I am content with acknowledging my imperfection and the fact that I am working toward, however painfully and gradually, a state of grace.

I think that optimism is intrinsically linked to both compassion and tolerance.  The ability to keep believing that deep down the best qualities of an individual are far more powerful than their destructive tendencies hinges on the ability to also view their weaknesses without judgement.  I’m certainly not suggesting that people not be held accountable for their actions – but I do feel it is valuable that we attempt to comprehend before we condemn.  By the same token we should also consider all of the elements before we rush to commend.  Appearances are what they are, people jump to conclusions, people accept easy explanations, people deceive themselves.  There are individuals out there that may have an appearance that is considered consistent with socially agreed “norms” of success or propriety, and yet may be lacking essential personality elements which define being human.  There are also individuals out there whose appearance  defies the socially accepted “norms”, while their inner world may be richly sensitive and expansive.  For each of us interpersonal relationships are an odyssey of search and discovery, each step in the process reflecting upon new aspects of our inner self beyond the flesh costume.

Technology has made it possible for people from all over the world to express themselves and exchange points of view.  There are interests and individuals that abuse the opportunity but it has also eliminated many borders and is making it far more difficult for governments to oppress and suppress their citizens.  It is up to us, the cyber citizens of the world, to get as much beauty and humanity out there as possible, to counter balance and eclipse the stupidity and ugliness that try to pop up in the cracks between ideologies and theologies.

Victoria Andre King is a freelance writer and audiovisual professional her novel The Führer Must Die is available for pre-orders and will be released on November 8th 2016 with Yucca Publications, an imprint of Sky Horse Publishing NYC.

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