1. Optimism and responsibility.
To be an Optimist is to take a conscious decision for self discipline, self improvement and learning. We Optimists hold ourselves accountable to offer solutions to hardships and problems, and we know that we cannot avoid the personal responsibility for improvements to life. We are aware that the privilege of a good life is accessible only through one’s liberty and power to make these changes.
2. Diving for pearls.
Paradoxically, the more secure we are, the more fearful we tend to become, afraid of losing the security that we enjoy. We Optimists believe, along with Goethe, that there is a basic truth that we cannot ignore, at the risk of destroying a wealth of brilliant ideas and plans. This truth is that as soon as one is committed to positive action, Providence responds and acts as a catalyst for a chain of events that otherwise would never have occurred. We know that our personal commitment will be followed by fortunate coincidences, the unexpected encounter, even experiences which lie beyond normal senses and that no one would ever have dreamed possible. Daring releases genius, power and magic.
3. Optimism is based on values.
We agree with Emmanuel Kant on the importance of considering the impact of our actions in a more profound sense. We should never hesitate to undertake activities that would change the order of the world should everyone act in the same way. We might follow Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s tenet: man is responsible for everything before everyone.
4. Resignation is contamination.
We share the opinion of Simone de Beauvoir. We consider that resignation is the most dismal of traits – we must shun that passive submission where aspirations born of our own free will are discounted and jettisoned as impossible fancy or inconsequential dreams. Those who really “live” are fighters. They scale the “grim peak” with purpose in the soul, and on the brow, and they are inspired to a timeless high destiny by a vision of some supreme oeuvre or grand amour. Victor Hugodescribed such people as laborers and shepherds; like them we try to live each day to the full and in good heart.
5. Optimism not innocence.
To be an Optimist is not to benefit from some kind of congenital isolation, set free from life’s sadness and pain. However we do take an active decision to look beyond those inevitable difficulties and vicissitudes, attentive to the beauty that also surrounds us. Kierkegaard put it this way; to be optimistic is to realise, not that life’s path is hard, but that difficulties inevitably pave the way. We assume, like Rainer Maria Rilke, a sort of secret personal presence. If daily life appears barren, or mediocre, let’s be poet enough to summon its riches – don’t blame life, look inwards and blame yourself!
6. Criticism is easier than art.
We Optimists take inspiration from Socrates. We are careful to express the truth with humanity and kindness, and we aim for nothing which is void of utility and benefit for others.
7. Optimism and confidence.
We intend to initiate a “cultural revolution” based on confidence in the future. We are certain that our desire to make positive changes, enhanced by the pleasure we take doing so, will result in greater humanity and beauty. Our Cultural Revolution will confidently opt for cooperation; inspired by the belief that there is plenty for all, and that it is possible to exclude competition born from fear of deprivation. Our confidence will be a source of enlightenment, counteracting trepidation and ignorance, fear of the next man and his social or cultural differences. It opposes concerns about unfamiliar language, religion, and colour of skin. We certainly do not seek to convert pessimists, skeptics and cynics. Our association is for volunteers to optimism, that their combined enthusiasm may grow in force and effectiveness.
8. Optimism is good for you.
It is proven that the likelihood of living a long and healthy life is significantly improved by cultivating positive thought and optimism. As Voltaireput it:
I decided to be happy, it’s a healthier way of living!
9. Don’t believe the media.
Violence, criminality, redundancies, catastrophies and negative news of all kinds makes impressive television and press, but we Optimists require that the media be equally attentive to the good news which abounds, more commonplace that bad news we so often hear about. We don’t propose the suppression of this bad news, but we certainly want to hear about the many thousands of heroes who work ceaselessly and give their utmost every day to improve the world we live in.