the Pessemist Manifesto

September 16, 2008

I’ve gotten more extra-blogular comments about my Honesty experiment than any other blog I’ve posted.  I like it when people talk about blogs in person, it feels like Pinocchio becomimg a real boy.  I think it’s healthy; keeping us from becoming completely reliant on digital communication or hiding on opposite sides of the liquid crystals.  Like playing battle ship.

            Anyways, Honesty, right.  I think I’ve mistakenly correlated honesty and negativity.  “I’m just being honest” usually follows a rather judgmental remark I’ve made about someone.  I tend to “honestly” be extremely judgmental, riding on my high horse of truth and concern.  But I’ve heard somewhere that truth is recognizable by it’s beauty and simplicity, I’m going to choose to believe that until some scientist proves it wrong or some poet writes a really catchy limerick to convince me otherwise.  I’d like my attempts at honesty to lead to something simple and beautiful.  I’d like to be able to laugh with people I don’t like, Agree with disagreeable people, appreciate someone who doesn’t appreciate me.

            There are two sides to this honesty coin.  I was going to try to make some fancy metaphor about actual currency, but I can’t think of anything clever and I think I just wanted to sound like don miller so I’m not even gonna try now.  Anyways, I’m going to try out being honesty optimistic; I think that’s a better way to live life.



5 Responses to “the Pessemist Manifesto”

  1. joelmw Says:

    Yeah. I don’t think it’s just you.

    I wonder where that comes from. I don’t feel particularly intellectually powerful at the moment, but a couple of thoughts did occur somewhat quickly. In the name of honesty (in this case, transparently revealing them no matter how dumb they might seem and instead of waiting for something that sounds wiser to appear):

    1) We’re always told, “if you haven’t got anything nice to say . . .” I wonder if those negative thoughts get pent up, waiting for their release, never having an outlet. So then we try honesty and they’re the first things beating at the door to come out.

    2) Optimistic honesty sometimes sounds silly and childlike or might seem somehow inappropriate in an adult world. Maybe negativity is automatically more urbane.

    3) Everything around us decays or ends or fades (if only in our perception)–um, this is darker. I’m half remembering a line from something, to the effect that if you feel good at the moment, don’t worry, that feeling will go away. There’s a sort of insubstantiality to positive things and so maybe they seem less real. Yes, they endure, but we really have to have faith to perceive their continuity, I think, in light of the fact that they rarely continue to be exactly what we hope and desire them to be. Simultaneously, I think there is something in us that always wants more. Oh, there’s a recipe for frustration: I want more and I keep being given less. The world is broken. That frustration points to a promise and a hope. I mean, in case anyone felt this was a downer.

    4) Combining those last two, I think there’s a childlike joy in the immediacy of the moment maybe.

    Anyway, I’m even more curious to see what comes next. This is good. I’m also curious what your thoughts are on the reason(s) you think you might have gravitated toward negativity. I think there are reasons.

    Uh, D-4.

  2. Brett Says:

    Good insight Mike. Looks like the honesty experiment was a success… Seems like you learned/are learning alot

  3. janessica Says:

    I wish you had gone for the currency metaphor, it could have been epic.

  4. Josh R Says:

    speaking truth to people is one of the most challenging things to do… because it takes courage, it takes courage to call someone out and you’re right the “i’m just being honest” thing gets thrown out there too often as an excuse to be an ass
    however.. speaking truthfully to someone who really needs to hear how great they are takes just as much courage, at least i think so

  5. HICO Says:

    A pessemist will never be disappointed

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