A Bubbly Optimism: The Optimism of Lawrence W. Reed
"a bubbly optimism and exuberance about making a difference in the world"
I have the honour of asking Larry Reed what makes him optimistic. Lawrence W. Reed is the President Emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education, the Humphreys Family Senior Fellow and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty.
Victor Perton: What makes you optimistic?
Larry Reed: "Several things. Nobody knows the future, so why feel bad about it before it even happens? Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think your cause is lost, you won’t work hard for it and won’t be persuasive in convincing others to join in. History is full of examples of unexpectedly good outcomes that materialized thanks to people who didn’t give up in the face of even overwhelming obstacles. I am optimistic that I will do all I can to bring about a better future; what more can anyone ask for? Finally, optimism creates a frame of mind with positive health and biological implications. Pessimism is a drag in every way—spiritually and materially."
Victor Perton: What makes you feel optimistic?
Larry Reed: "My Christian faith is one big factor in this. It tells me that, ultimately, justice will be served, that the sins of believers will be forgiven, and that if we put our minds and hearts into it, we can make a positive difference in the world. Also, reading biographies of great men and women who did just that, who made positive differences through their character and perseverance, inspires optimism in me."
More on Optimism by Larence Reed
In Liberty as a Life Philosophy, Larry wrote, "Take charge of your life, and even if it’s hard to be optimistic for society as a whole, you can still be optimistic for yourself and those you love and affect..."
"Embracing liberty as a life philosophy requires that you get your own affairs in order, be a burden to no one, seek nothing from others through the political process except that they leave you alone, and be a model in everything you do so that others will be inspired by your example.
"Take charge of your life, accept all your responsibilities at home and elsewhere without hesitation. Get your mental attitude in shape: Have a healthy sense of humor, a good feel for both your strengths and weaknesses, a bubbly optimism and exuberance about making a difference in the world.
He advocates, "Be optimistic. It’s tiring and disheartening to hear the defeatists talk like this: “It’s over. The Republic is lost. There’s no turning back. Our goose is cooked.I’m leaving the country.” What’s the point of such talk? It certainly can’t be to inspire. Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Pessimists only disarm themselves and dispirit others; there’s nothing to be won by it. If you truly believe all is lost, the best thing to do is defer to the possibility that you may be wrong and let the optimists lead the way. (That means leaving pessimism at the door.)"