It's fairly obvious that America has become a country filled with pessimists. And as ironic as it may sound, that is not a pessimistic assessment. For some reason or another, we look for the downside to events and issues long before we consider the potential for optimism.
Here's just the latest example. A slew of economic reports came out Friday. Among them was one report that indicates inflation reared its ugly head last month at the fastest pace in well over a decade. That means - among other things - that Social Security checks will jump just over four per cent beginning in January. And it fueled concerns that the federal monetary gurus would likely continue to raise interest rates in their feeble attempt to control the economy.
Pundits on the internet and on television quickly brought out their pessimistic pistols and began predicting doom and gloom because of the runaway inflation. The headline on one popular political website said "INFLATION Is it back?"
But then some of the economists began actually looking at those numbers and lo and behold, if you exclude gasoline prices, inflation was actually down substantially. Gasoline prices were impacted because of the hurricanes, among other factors, and all observers recognize that the sharp increases are only temporary.
But pessimism was the rule of the day. It's almost as if we somehow want bad news. It would take a team of shrinks and a ton of time to determine just why that is. But it's obviously regardless of the Freudian rationale.
If you listen to the likes of Kennedy, Pelosi and Clinton, you would think this country has gone to hell in a hand basket. They speak not one word of optimism. Now I recognize their words of wisdom are driven by partisan politics, but you would think they could find at least one topic of optimism to discuss. I have yet to hear those words however.
I'd like to think of myself as a pragmatic optimist. I hope for the best yet I recognize the shortcomings of society. I believe good will prevail over evil even though sometimes it takes some fairly strong rose-colored glasses to believe that way. I believe in absolute right and wrong. And I believe I am absolutely right. (Okay not always but it just sounded too good to pass up).
If you believe something strong enough and long enough, your belief can become a reality. If you honestly believe that things are going bad and heading worse, chances are you'll see your belief come true.