Providing Realistic Optimism for Our Future


In everyday life amidst the tragedies and divisiveness, we see remarkable resilience and recoveries in psychiatry.

smile, optimism



It has struck me that many of my recent weekday daily columns have focused on the best of us in terms of heroism, genius, and reaching for the stars. These include the Blue Origin Flight, CNN Heroes, and the MacArthur Fellows.

As presented in the October 13th episode of CNN’s media review show “Reliable Sources,” media personality and late night television host Jon Stewart should be added to that list! In response to a question of where his current optimism came from, he emphasized a historical perspective and the repeated resilience of humans to move forward and recover from great trauma and obstacles.

Compare today to the Civil War, the great economic Depression, and World War II. We have the potential and capacity for incredible inventiveness and learning from our mistakes. Jon Stewart did not seem to be joking. Rather, it is as if he was pulling on the wisdom he has learned from life experiences as he has aged.

I believe Stewart. We do see remarkable resilience and recoveries in psychiatry. We see it in everyday life amidst the tragedies and divisiveness. We see it in the invention of a new form of vaccination for the pandemic. That and these other examples provide some realistic optimism for the future, don’t they?

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric TimesTM.

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