Imagine how miserable life would be if we were constantly aware of our own mortality; if each day we awoke wondering if it would be our last; if each step we took worried us that it was bringing us one step closer to our end.
How stressful would that be?
If that were so, if we couldn’t help but be aware of our limited time on earth, would life even be worth living?
I mean, if that were the case, if we did lead lives in constant fear of death, then why even try?
To live a miserable life like that couldn’t possibly be healthy.
I mean, if we were constantly in fear of death, our life expectancy would surely suffer as a result, right?
A self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Universal Law of Attraction.
I mean, it only seems natural that if we think negative things then we attract negative things and if we attract negative things then negative things are bound to happen to us, right?
A recent study suggests otherwise:
Lead author Frieder R.Lang said: ‘Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade.
‘Pessimism about the future may encourage people to live more carefully, taking health and safety precautions.’
If true, if pessimists do live longer lives than optimists, that should make even the most miserable among us a little happier, no?
Still, my gut tells me that negativity breeds negativity and, in the long run, that can’t be healthy.
Again, who knows?
But maybe if put within a different context, this live-longer-through-pessimism way of thinking might make a bit more sense.
For instance, today we celebrate Earth Day.
For one day out of the year, we are kind of forced to consider the life of our planet.
But what if we were constantly aware of it, and constantly at worry over it?
Our planet’s health.
And its mortality.
Would it matter?
Would our awareness and worry result in a healthier, longer-living planet?
How many of us worry about the future of the Earth?
I mean really worry.
How many of us stop to think and to fret that each time we start our car, each time we let the faucet run while brushing our teeth, each time we toss those spent batteries into the trash, each time we crank up the A/C, that we may in fact be facilitating the death of our planet?
I know I don’t.
But it’s hard to worry about the planet.
It’s hard to be constantly conscientious of my environmental impact.
It really is inconvenient.
Which is why I’m not an environmentalist, I guess.
But maybe, if the study that says pessimists live longer than optimists is even a little bit true, then maybe, at least in regards to the life of our planet, we all should worry about our Earth just a little bit more and be a bit less optimistic about its future.
We should be concerned.
And a little scared.
Activism through Pessimism.
Sustainment through Worriment.
Have a Happy Earth Day.
But not too happy…