PESSIMISM CAN WORM its way into our minds in many different ways, but the most powerful force for negativity is television news programs. I saw a great example of it today, and also a great response to it from Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian-born American (see photo) who has seen the worst the world has to offer, and yet remains unpessimistic.
Avi Lewis, the Canadian man interviewing her, does his best to put a cynical, pessimistic, defeatist slant on everything he can, but she handles it all with style, grace, clarity of expression, and a glaring lack of pessimism. It is beautiful to watch.
Go to Avi Lewis's site and watch the video.
It is nine minutes long. Almost everything Lewis says is saturated with negativity and cynicism. He exaggerates. He implies we are helpless against powerful evil people who run things. He overgeneralizes. He sees things in black-or-white terms. He makes so many thought-mistakes so quickly it is hard to keep up. In short, he is a perfect example of the media's negative bias. Listen to enough of this kind of "news" and your worldview would be distorted beyond all recognition.
Lewis also seems to be intensely anti-American while Ali is pro-American. Ali speaks openly against Islam (she is the author of the book, Infidel) while Lewis defends Islam. It's quite a conversation.