Optimism that does not count the cost is like a house built on sand

house on sand

For rent? This is an optimism of ignorance and indifference.

It is a mistake always to contemplate the good and ignore the evil, because by making people neglectful it lets in disaster. There is a dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference. It is not enough to say that the twentieth century is the best age in the history of mankind, and to take refuge from the evils of the world in skyey dreams of good. How many good men, prosperous and contented, looked around and saw naught but good, while millions of their fellow-men were bartered and sold like cattle! No doubt, there were comfortable optimists who thought Wilberforce a meddlesome fanatic when he was working with might and main to free the slaves. I distrust the rash optimism in this country that cries, “Hurrah, we’re all right! This is the greatest nation on earth,” when there are grievances that call loudly for redress. That is false optimism. Optimism that does not count the cost is like a house built on sand. A man must understand evil and be acquainted with sorrow before he can write himself an optimist and expect others to believe that he has reason for the faith that is in him.

by Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)
from her essay Optimism
Part I: Optimism Within
image – Soil-Science.info

| More

One Response to “Optimism that does not count the cost is like a house built on sand”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    I agree with the not counting the cost, in our optimism, our growth, in the struggle / balance of good and evil. Have you read The Shack yet, Elizabeth? Interesting section in there on judgment and good v. evil and acceptance that it is in the world, we (you, me, he, she, etc.) cannot change that because of human nature and the choices we each make day to day. But it is also not our place to judge those doing the evil – or the good, for that matter. Interesting concepts and food for thought, similar to this post.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.