Life

Let’s start the year with an optimistic perspective

7 January 2019

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

We have already left the first week of 2019 behind. I believe it would be best for all of us to start the year with hope and especially optimism. Well then, what exactly is “optimism”? I have finished reading Steven Pinker’s book “Enlightenment Now” a few days ago. This Canada-born American experimental psychologist defines optimism as “the theory that all failures -all evils- are due to insufficient knowledge.”

There will always be failures or problems, because our knowledge will always be infinitely far from complete. What we need to keep in mind is this: We may encounter problems that are difficult to solve, but it is a big mistake to confuse them with problems unlikely to be solved. Most problems are solvable and each particular failure or evil that we encounter is actually a problem that can be solved. Therefore, we need to be optimistic and focus on the solution to be able to go forward.

An optimistic civilization is open to development and diversity, it is not afraid of innovations, and it has a tradition of constructive criticism. Its institutions focus on continuous improvement, identify failures, and find ways to eliminate them.

There will always be solutions to problems as long as we are optimistic.

After all, what is life but continuous problem-solving?

Happy new year to all!

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