I choose to be an Optimist through a kind of Necessity: Nick Cave

"I choose to be an optimist through a kind of necessity because from my experience pessimism is a corrosive and damaging position to take – one that casts its shadow over all things, causing a kind of societal sickness, a contaminant that ultimately amplifies and glorifies the problems it professes to abhor."

So said Australian singer-songwriter and actor Nick Cave on optimism and joy in a post entitled "What is joy? Where is it? Where is love in this world that is such an evil mess."

 On Joy, Nick wrote, "For me, to strive toward joy has become a calling and a practise. It is carried out with the full understanding of the terms of this hallowed and harrowed world. I pursue it with an awareness that joy exists both in the worst of the world and within the best, and that joy, flighty, jumpy, startling thing that it is, often finds its true voice within its opposite. Joy sings small, bright songs in the dark — these moments, so easily disregarded, so quickly dismissed, are the radiant points of light that pierce the gloom to give validation to the world. That’s how the light gets in, Leonard Cohen tells us, casting his genius and delight forever through the cosmos.  But no one understands joy like the Australian cartoonist, Michael Leunig. In his classic cartoon, ‘Gee Dad, you’re fantastic!’, a father plays his ukulele to the delight of his family, picnicking in a beam of light that cuts though an utterly devastated landscape. I can’t think of a work of art that more poignantly articulates the utter and urgent need for the pursuit of joy. Maja, joy exists as a bright, insistent spasm of defiance within the darkness of the world. Seek it. It is there."

Read More and Join in: Celebrate Joy and Optimism

Keep up to date with the latest from Centre for Optimism

We appreciate any contribution you can make to help us spread optimism with the world
Give Today

Connect With Us

We love to connect with everyone who is ready to open up and share their optimisim.