The Story of The Genuine Optimist, Episode 1

Many people come into our lives with an upbeat attitude. Sometimes we question this attitude. This does not make us negative and it certainly does not make us pessimistic. It just says “we do not believe their attitude is genuine.”

A genuine attitude comes from a source that many of us believe in. This source stems from values like persistence, vision, and community. Other values can include hard work, patience, and conservation. The Genuine Optimist values the conservation of equity, wealth and energy over everything. This is the true source of my optimism.

Anyway, Genuine Optimists, and there are many of us, talk about the real source of optimism. They do not talk about their success. They talk about vision and purpose. They talk about the value that propels them.

Most of us have been taught that optimism is an individual quality. But what if optimism has a lot more to do with people working together than a personal attitude inside? People and culture can tare us down for sure, but they can also lift us up. At the Genuine Optimist, we talk about the thriving cultures that lift and inspire people.

Please consider one thing: optimism is not a mental attitude alone. Wikipedia has it wrong. While some say that optimism is a good feeling inside, which is not well understood and often fake, a few of us argue that optimism is the purpose we find in a vision that unites people.  Such a vision, in order to create a thriving culture, must be accessible and believable to many.

If optimism is an attitude only with no identified value, the optimism is not believable.

Let us look at it this way. Have you ever been able to understand a motivational speaker full of energy and enthusiasm? You may want to feel what they feel, and you may want to have their success, but it’s almost impossible for most of us to fully understand them, especially when we cannot see the value supporting their optimism. Even more, if optimism is the feeling of success individuals achieve, what is it that brings a community together? Is it better to have optimism alone or is it more effective if we have it together?

It is time that optimism be accessible to more people than ever imagined. Rather than a speaker on distant stage, it is time we see optimism as a thriving culture and not just personal success. This is going to call for a serious shift away from the exclusivity of optimism that only a few claim to have, to the open accessibility of optimism for all.

The first place to begin is with the definition of optimism. As a part time college instructor for over twenty years, I always tell my students to “define your terms.” I tell them to look up the word and find its original meaning first. If we find the true meaning of a word, and if that meaning is what we intend, then we should use that word. But never change the meaning of a word to fit your world view. That is very dangerous. This is why I always teach that, “words are up for grabs but not their meanings.”

The word optimism has a meaning. It is the belief that this is “the best of all possible worlds.” Sometimes it is defined as “a better world to come.” Think about that for a moment. What if there is a better world? If you could see this better world and if you were part of bringing this better world to life with others, would this not make you a genuine optimist?

I ask this question because the original meaning of optimism comes from the Latin “optimum” or “best thing.” This is where we get “best of all possible worlds” and a “better world to come.” So here is the question. What gets in our way of achieving our optimum best as a people? Notice the use of “our best” and not “your best.”

Just about every motivational guru or self-help book tends to focus on individual optimism and not the optimism of whole groups or cultures. Some call themselves “an eternal optimist,” but many of us scratch our heads wondering what that means. For example, bad things happy to good people. It’s hard to be an eternal optimist during a personal crisis.

This is why genuine optimism is so much more. It is not tide down to one individual, which is often a power struggle with one’s self and others. It’s much bigger than that. It’s a thriving culture.

The answer to what gets in our way of achieving our optimum best as a people is the political power struggles we create. Most corporate, religious and government organizations tend idolize vertical authority and this means more central control. Good people, or genuine optimists, do not function in political hierarchies.

In fact, here is the greatest revelation. Good people do not organize.

Think about it. Good people do not organize.

They add value, they have vision, and they stand for principle, but they rarely organize. In fact, good people never fake a staged act, and they do not intimidate, and they certainly stand clear of irrational ideas. In other words, they are not political. They are anti-political. The book The Political Optimist: The Restoration of Common Consent talks about these people in detail. If you want to learn how to read political people, then read this book. It’s available on Amazon and on Lulu.

Let me take a moment to explain something about political people. The word political is tide to the struggle we have with those in power at work, in our churches, schools and governments. This is what politics is, a power struggle created by central control and the people that blindly support authority at greater and greater distances. Political people centralize power, genuine optimists see no need for power to be centralized. They choose instead something we call consent.

So there you have it, political people want central control, and genuine people want common consent. That’s the real battle we are facing in the United States and around the world.

Here is a great test. If you want to know how to tell if someone is political, ask them a simple question, “Are we born evil and sinners?” Political people say yes. And because of this they also believe that we need more centralized control to be properly managed. It’s the only way, in their mind, to protect humanity from self-destruction. Too much freedom is then replaced with too much control. This is how political people think.

Genuine Optimists believe something different. They believe that we are born free and good. Corruption happens from how we organize as a culture and not from our birth. Hold on to that thought. I will explain in many podcasts and vlogs to come.

I just want to emphasize that Genuine Optimism is a decentralized and headless way to organize. It is all for one and one for all. Genuine optimists believe in decentralization. They believe in people forming their own culture and in the idea of self-government to advance their optimum best. They believe in the purity of free association without compulsion and are attracted to thriving cultures and not just one person on stage. They are drawn to ideas and not people.

They say a rising tide lifts all ships. Welcome to a place that advances that truth.

If your business, community organization, or church is suffering from political power struggles created by too much central control, the genuine optimist is here to speak up. For the first time, one voice is willing to talk about the elephant in the room.

From the Genuine Optimist you will hear about new visions, about people organizing in headless ways, and new technologies to support natural human cooperation. You will also learn about the greatest principle that supports a thriving culture, the strict conservation of equity within its own community. You will witness for the first time pure sustainability. Also, you will get some history in the past and some vision for the future. In time, the Genuine Optimist will interview unknown visionaries and give them voice.

Hold tight, a renaissance is coming, and it’s only the middle of the night, and one voice has woken up early.

About the Author
Keith is the Author of The Political Optimist and you can follow him at genuineoptimist.com. He is a visionary founder of Local Common Wealth (see localcommonwealth.org) and co-founder of Vision Impact Leadership. He is a licensed general contractor at kelschconstruction.com and part time faculty member at Dixie State University.