I notice among a lot of my friends a deep anxiety that the world is just terrible.
I've heard "I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist" while they clearly suffer from these worries.
Whenever a piece of bad news comes out, dismay follows.
Hatred bubbles up for entire blocs of people.
They feel those in power or those with certain opinions are ruining everyone's lives, including theirs.
It breaks my heart to see.
Views like this are hardly new.
There may however be a special concoction of painful views coming together in our time.
Pessimism is in a frame of modern objectivism: our mode of deductive rationality is absolute and objective, therefore the final word on everything.
Things are "just so" and we have no real control over our reactions or experience in life.
Bad people "out there" are hurting my peace "in here".
Pessimism is constantly saying "that's just how it is" and objectivism feeds this externalizing: it's the world I see that makes everything bad, the world says itself how it really is, nothing else.
I have no idea how to help this kind of suffering so prevalent among the people I know.
How can we be generous with the Dharma with those who are skeptical of anything remotely religious?
Anything that ruffles the uncomfortable security that pessimism provides?
Those already overburdened with so many views?
What do you respond when a friend tells you, "to be realistic now is to be a cynic"?
Thank you for sharing your opinions, or any ways you may have approached this as well.