Intelligent optimism

I’ve noticed that a lot of the time, people associate optimism with ignorance, a certain dullness around the edges that is attributed to the simple-minded. Maybe it’s because intelligence has long been associated with hedonistic lifestyles, a brooding charm, depression and even suicide.

It’s unfortunate because not everyone can make the distinction between blind and intelligent optimism. In fact, those are two vastly different things.

Blind optimism has a bit of a correlation with ignorance, and often rightly so, but intelligent optimism is something else entirely. It is a way of life. A vocation. A pledge to be informed yet hopeful about the future.

Though we are bombarded daily with negativity and constant, sensationalized portraits of the horrors of humanity, on a grand scale, humanity’s growth has been incremental. It seems farfetched but this is the least violent humanity has ever been and this trend can only go upwards!

On the 16th of September, a bunch of schoolmates and I – and our English teacher – went to this workshop deep in the labyrinth of an area called Al Qouz. The workshop was rightly named Intelligent Optimism and highlighted exactly that – the need to desensationalize and reduce the toxic cesspool of mainstream news. Essentially, detoxify the negativity that has taken over our outlook.

In that one hour, even the most skeptical of our lot was giddy with the prospect of hope for the future. Optimism has a way of seeping into our soul in the simplest of ways, if only we cared to give it a shot. And certainly, every single individual in that little cork-furnished room was inspired and reinvigorated by the end of the workshop. Ideas were shared, stories of hope and excitement was exchanged, gentle banter was had between the two groups in the room – adults and students – but never was a single instance of doubt even glimpsed.

Hope is so wonderful, so simple, so achievable and so easy to rationalize, if only we loosen our cloaks of cynicism. I, for one, have always been a rational optimist, but now that I know how easy it is to inspire others, I know that’s my raisin d’etre. That is humanity as a whole’s raison d’etre. We just have to realize that.

I implore you to visit the website: Baraka Bits.

Get inspired. Get creative. Get hopeful. We’re lucky to be in the era we’re in right now, the era of technological advancement and social media. Let’s utilize that and bring about a change.

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