Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, June 19, 2017

Are you an optimist, pessimist, meliorist, or none of the above?

                Are you an optimist, pessimist, meliorist, or none of the above? Why?
Since I survived two endarterectomies and a quadruple bypass, I guess I would call myself an optimistic realist inclined toward meliorism. I’d like to believe that I am optimist about what the future holds, but when you live as long as I have, you are either realistic about life or you’re living in a fantasy world or with your head in the sand. I have seen many technological advancements in my lifetime, medical discoveries that have reduced the fatality rates of childhood diseases and surgical techniques that have prolonged life and given me personally an opportunity to still be productive. I have seen revolutionary discoveries and advancements in many disciplines from archaeology to astronomy.
                I believe that each generation will continue to move forward and while there may be temporary setbacks in any one country, globally as a species we can reflect on our progress and accomplishments especially if we consider that our distant ancestors first walked upright a few million years ago.

We still have a long distance to go to celebrate a unity that globally elevates as many humans as possible. The key is education. Sadly, we are constantly bombarded by news which reflects the darker side of humanity. The good news is that usually when looking back twenty-five years, we realize that it wasn’t as meaningful as we thought it was at the time and that life goes on. For those more catastrophic times or events, people forget the struggles of the past, sometimes to their regret.


  1. I like to think of myself as a optimist/realist. Pessimist usually has such a negative connotation attached with it. But I don't think that everything is always sunshine and pretty flowers as well. I can be honest and say that I don't see the glass as always half full. When I get pulled over by cops, as a Black man in America, I'm hopeful that I will go home with my life, but I'm realistic enough to know that traffic stop might be the end of my life as well. For all the progress that we have made in America, there is still much to be done. We as a species sometimes undermine ourselves and our progress. Much of the damage that is done is self-inflicted. This is the realistic portion of me pouring out. While I do still remain hopeful that we will eventually reach civility, dignity, and basic respect for each other. This is the optimistic side rearing its ugly head.

  2. Anonymous11:39 PM CDT

    I would have to say I am a optimist. I try to look at life to be good for the most part . I agree with you Donald I have health problems as well diabetes , back, and knee injuries . I do try to look at them in a positive life , and it is a fact the better I eat and exercise , the better my blood sugar gets and with advancements in medicine and physical therapy, my health problems will get better it is what I strive within myself to help myself.

  3. "Keep your health, your splendid health. It's worth more than all the truths in the firmament." That's what James wrote to his friend Schiller, in part to encourage the latter to keep his pragmatist polemics in perspective. Meliorism applies to the health of the body and to that of the body politic. James would recognize that our society is still not healthy, in its failure to reconcile racial issues and celebrate diversity in all its forms. Education is truly the best medicine.