Over the last few years, as I have become increasingly interested in politics and immersed in academia, I have struggled more an more to justify optimism and positive thinking.
Positivity and the belief that good things would come to those who worked for them fuelled many of my childhood dreams. I still think it can be a great motivator but I often get annoyed with self-help authors and speakers who seem to dismiss any evidence of systemic problems that make concepts like the American Dream nearly impossible to put into practice for a significant chunk of the population.
I read articles everyday about the ravages of capitalism, the injustice of systemic racism and the vestiges of sexism. These are all incredibly depressing. But can I justify ignoring them? They sap me of my energy and make me feel angry and powerless, but am I deluding myself if I am less aware of the struggles people face?
I am considering reducing the number of articles I read on systemic discrimination and inequality. Not because I don’t believe these things exist, but because reading the same sad stories always leaves me in a near-lethargic state.
Right now, my choices can still impact my life positively. Some people don’t have as many options so I shouldn’t use inequality as an excuse to do nothing.