It’s nearing October. It’s been almost four months since I returned from my travels.
I’ve spent my time reading, catching up on television, video games, and more. I released my first novel.
For a time, I didn’t have the slightest urge to travel. Home fit me well. After all, I’d been away for six months — I needed to rest.
Now, though? My feet are itching. As Anais Nin puts it, “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.”
I dream of Europe, of evenings spent along the Seine, of watching the sun rise over the green hills of Ireland. There is so much beauty in the world, and I want to see it all.
Which brings me to my next point…
Since coming back, I’ve realized just how bloody pessimistic people are. I’ve never been a pessimist. It’s never sat well with me.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst, right? But how can you hope for the best if all of your actions are saying you don’t expect it to happen?
While I was away, I watched a movie that resonated with every fibre of my being. It was called Tomorrowland — a Disney-produced film that passed quietly by. Here’s a snippet of the script.
Frank Walker: The future can be scary. Unstable governments, over-population, wars on every continent, famine, water shortages, environmental collapse…
Casey Newton: [interrupts again] … and scientific breakthroughs, wonder and beauty…
Frank Walker: Could you please just stop interrupting?
Casey Newton: I will, just try to be more upbeat.
Frank Walker: Upbeat? I can’t tell them anything if you keep interrupting me.
Casey Newton: You’re right, sorry.
Frank Walker: As I was saying… with every second that ticks by, we get closer and closer…
Casey Newton: [interrupts yet again] Ooh I know… tell them about…
Frank Walker: I can’t tell them anything until I tell them about this.
Casey Newton: Then can we please just start somewhere else?
Frank Walker: Fine where would you like me to start?
Casey Newton: Well you keep saying the future wasn’t always this way, right?
Frank Walker: It wasn’t… when I was a kid, the future was…
Casey Newton: Different, right?
Frank Walker: Right.
There’s one particular part of that quote that we should all pay attention to. “The future was different when you were a kid, right?”
At what point in our lives do we begin looking for the absolute worst at all times, rather than looking at the world with the wonder of a child?
Humanity as a whole needs to return to that. We need to set aside the worst expectations we have of the future and start working towards the best.
At another point in the film, a character mentioned how the people have known about the terrible future awaiting them, but they embrace it wholeheartedly for one simple reason: “The future doesn’t ask anything of them today.”
Someone said to me, “You’re still young.” I’m four years away from thirty (something I try not to think about too much), and I’ve met people just as jaded at my age as if they were three times older. It’s not about how young or old someone is — it’s about giving up. I don’t want to become that person.
Humanity has conquered the diseases of the past. 400 years ago, a common cold was nearly life-threatening. Today, it’s a nuisance. The Wikipedia page for smallpox opens with, “Smallpox was…”
On a global level, crime is lower than ever before. People are living longer, and the worldwide quality of life is up.
That’s not to say there aren’t problems. Civil war is tearing countries apart. People are being killed for their opinions. Death and disease ravage parts of Africa. Poverty is widespread.
We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s important to remember how far humanity has already come.
The world needs less pessimists and more dreamers.