Q&A

Are you optimistic or pessimistic, and why? TED U audience responds, and so can you

Posted by: Emily McManus

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TED University during TEDGlobal 2011, July 12, 2011. Photo: James Duncan Davidson / TED

During Session 2 of TED University, host June Cohen asked: Are you optimistic or pessimistic, and why? and asked for answers of one sentence.

I’m optimistic because the number of TEDxes just passed 2,000 and there’s no end in sight!

… because of the global participatory creativity shown here.

… because my daughter told me she’s very lucky to be growing up in Poland.

… because my children are amazing and they are the future.

… because of the grassroots social entrepreneurship that’s happening around the world.

… because everything’s changing so fast that in 15 minutes it could be completely different.

… because the alternative is no fun.

… because I prefer the optimism of action to the pessimism of thought, quoting Peter Melcher.

… because despite what crises we face, we’ve never had as many people with the opportunity to make change.

… because I’m returning to my home country for the first time in 33 years and bringing TEDx to Iraq.

… because if I wasn’t optimistic, I wouldn’t be here today — one of the first Saudi females ever to attend TED.

… because life is too short to be pessimistic.

I’m pessimistic because in all the political systems in the world today, under every political system, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

… about watching the Greek financial crisis unroll. It’s like watching a David Lynch film every day, or a slow-motion trainwreck.

… because of the imbalance between optimism and pessimism in this room

I’m both, because it’s human to be living with duality

Join in yourself on this TED Conversation >>