The title of the post will possibly raise many eyebrows, and I will try my best to send your eyebrows to Mars after you have finished reading it. Well, that’s an optimistic start.
The good thing about writing a blog is that you suddenly attain this position of authority, and yet at the same time, distance yourself from the reality as if the situation in no way affects you. That possibly, you haven’t committed the same mistakes which you would like to point out here. It is so amusing to write, to dictate, to prove the follies we commit, the fallacies associated with our lives and not be humble enough to accept our mistakes or rectify them.
For years I have wondered the state of mind of being “Optimistic”. What does it actually mean? And how is it supposedly superior to being “Pessimistic”? The Bear can make as much money as the Bull. Logically, the Bear will make money when the Bull will not. And vice-versa. But there is a counter argument to it, which says, even the Bear is “optimistic” about the bad times in market.
Human beings would always like to be optimistic. It is a good thing, to be optimistic, to hope that things will turn around, that there will be light in the end of every dark tunnel, to know what you are doing is always right and believe that it will yield results. But that is where the main reasons for debacle lie.
Look around you. Do you see good things? How is your life? Does the future seem bright? No. No at this moment. No matter what status you have in your society, no matter how much you earn, no matter how secure your life is, the future does not seem too good. But why? Why this is so, possibly lies in the instinct of human beings being “Optimistic”. The belief that things just cannot go wrong. The absence of humility that plagues us, erodes us every day, preventing us to believe, that we can go wrong.
This is not about always treating ourselves as failure. That is not the point I am driving at. The hindrance to development does not lie in the instance of thinking that we can go wrong. On the contrary, it might help us to reassess what we are doing or what we are about to do. This cannot be termed as second thoughts. But it is just giving us a space to look at things from a different angle, and to try to make all angles perfect. But our prejudice forbids us to explore.
We just cannot face up to the fact that we may be wrong, we may be incompetent and we may not possess appropriate skills. Sometimes, when we attain a certain age or status, learning is seen to be a matter of disgrace. I feel that the word “Learning” has some sort of a long term (equal to Economics’ terminology) connotations attached to it. This is absolutely not true. Learning is continuous. It happens every day, every minute, and every second of our life. This process of learning and replicating is so subconscious and so continuous, that we possibly do not even understand or stop to look at, or marvel at this process. But there are some things in life which need to be consciously learned, and replicated.
For that we need the humility. Humility, I am afraid, cannot be learned.
It was this optimism; that things just could not go wrong; which made people in US cash in on the Realty Boom. Everyone knows about the roots of this recession. But no one questions the Why. Why didn’t anyone anticipate the fall in the demand? And why didn’t anyone reassess the situation; how will things change if the demand fell? And why did anyone not act upon it?
It is not the Greed, that people so scornfully refer to, that has destroyed Economies after Economies. Greed, per se, does not destroy you. The fables of Ali Baba does not hold true in the age of Capitalism anymore. Rather, if you do not have the Greed, you probably will not explore potential areas of growth. And the importance of Growth cannot be overemphasized anywhere.
It is Humility of not accepting that Human Beings can go wrong, because they are humans.
It is Optimism, and illogical Optimism that, which makes us turn the blind eye to us being Humans.