If You Do Not Believe Things Are Already Good, You Do Not Actually Believe Things Will Get Better

It’s one thing to see this billboard in the middle of a pandemic (and to take heart), but another thing to realize the billboard went up before the pandemic began and that this is the brighter future.

This– the pandemic, the lockdown, the election, the year that “WAP” dominated the charts– this is the “better future” optimists were promising last year and the year before that.

“Things will get brighter” is always a saying that willingly disregards the past. These are the brighter things. If you don’t believe things are already good, you don’t actually believe things will get better.

But this is why I am not an optimist: I don’t believe there are brighter things ahead of us. I believe that we already know what the bright things are– Bach, Milton, Homer, Dante, It’s A Wonderful Life— and that there is nothing to wait for. So quit looking forward and start looking backward.

The good stuff isn’t ahead of us. It’s behind us. Only the man who is oriented toward the past can receive a glorious inheritance. The forward-looking man misses his inheritance and must live on promises and speculation. Only the traditionalist has real food.

Published by Joshua Gibbs

Sophist. De-activist. Hack. Avid indoorsman.

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