A Word from the President

Optimism is not a congenital aptitude for happiness that can free us from life’s sadness and pain.

Optimism is an apprenticeship by which, through a conscious decision, Man evolves through discipline and self knowledge. Optimism leads to an understanding of the meaning of life. The opposite of optimism is not only pessimism. The opposite of optimism is also, and perhaps above all, cynicism.

You have probably been asked why you are a member of this association.

Simply reply that by working together we shall create a cultural metamorphosis based on our certitude that the desire and pleasure to make positive changes will result in tomorrow’s world becoming more beautiful, more just, and more human than it is today.

Our revolutionary “optimistic realism” will opt for cooperation based on a belief in plenty – and exclude competition derived from fear of privation. Confidence is a source of enlightenment; it is opposed to trepidation and ignorance, fear of the next man, his differences, his alternate culture, fear of his language, his strange religion, the hue of his skin…

Our association does not look to convert pessimists, sceptics or other cynics. It is intended for those who have opted for optimism, so that their collective enthusiasm may grow in effectiveness. I believe, said Jean Rey, that a spirit blows on the world like the wind on the sea. If we want the spirit to be effective, we must open the sail very wide and position our boat in the right direction. Best regards, Luc Simonet, founder Optimists Without Borders is an international non-profit association set up by a deed enacted by notaries Jerôme Otte and Olivier Brouwers at Brussels City Hall on November 19th 2008. Our association was established under the Belgian legislation of May 2, 2002.