“Optimism, like pessimism, feeds on itself.”1
Bob Brown is a commonsense radical whose lovely memoir beats off the twin spirits of despondency and despair that whisper, “Why bother?” and “What can you do?” in our ears.
His moving and inspiring anecdotes had me laughing and crying. From aversion therapy (read electric shock treatment) to cure his homosexuality in the 1960’s and rafting down the Franklin River in defiance of the Tasmanian Government’s dam project in the 1970’s, to, more recently, his time as a Senator in the Federal Parliament; the stories he tells remind us of the exhilaration and ultimate satisfaction that comes with taking calculated risks.
But what resonated most strongly with me were these words, “… the intelligent are unsure. They weigh things up. They look beyond the here and now. They worry about legacy and about grandchildren and using finite resources wisely … some simple advice for the heavy thinkers: get over it. Mulling things over while the stupid and greedy ravage the planet is, after all, not very intelligent. Worse, it is a certain road to depression. Get active rather than depressed. It worked for me.”2
1 and 2 pxi, Optimism by Bob Brown, 2014 Hardie Grant Books