I recently read a book called Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America. Author Barbara Ehrenreich believes that optimism can be a bad thing.
I would agree in some cases.
Among her reasons is this that the determination to be cheery at all costs and always see the silver lining can lead to naivety. That we might ignore the science and evidence needed to make decisions on behalf of a “fake it till you make it” grin-fest.That we might stop putting out the effort to develop our critical thinking skills because we’re determined to shape our realities through our willpower alone, when a dose of logic would suffice.
I consider myself an optimist. I’d probably drive her crazy. But I did agree with a lot of what she said, although I think a lot of the book was more mean-spirited than it needed to be.
What do you think? Can you be too optimistic? At what point does optimism become a willful ignoring of reality? Is pessimism useful?
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