In a previous post Alibi Pierce referred to me as The Stoner’s Journal’s “resident optimist.” I have to admit that–when it comes to humanity and mankind–I am the fervent eternal optimist. I have to be. I was raised to believe that mankind was inherently evil, in dire need of a savior, and that anyone outside of my cult’s certain brand of religion was on their way to eternal fire and brimstone. Yes, that did include other “so-called Christians.” One tell-tale sign that what I was raised in was truly a cult–not a religion–was that we were forbidden to own or watch movies; nor could we listen to music.
So naturally, I became a huge fan of film and music.
One of my favorite movies last year was Man of Steel, the latest Superman franchise. There is a scene in the movie where Kal-El (Superman) is told by his Father Jor-El, “They [mankind] will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun.”
As the modern day Christological figure, Superman’s brief exchange with his Father made me wish there was more to religion than what I had been raised to believe. All of us want to believe there is something more than this brief time we’re given here on earth. That there is a place where we can be reunited with lost loved ones and have conversations and find the closure and peace that life so often cruelly robs us of (side note: this same reason is why the ending of Lost worked for me). Yet as I’ve grown as a person I’ve become much less dependent on the need to bow before a wrathful, all-powerful being who views us humans with contempt. I’d rather keep looking for one willing to accept me, flaws and all, without requiring me to change those things about myself that make me… me.
Those things that make me uniquely human.
So with all that said, yes, I will gladly wear the badge of the resident optimist. With that said, my eyes are not closed to the injustice that takes place every day. I have hope for mankind but the actions of men have the capacity to make my blood boil. So please don’t take my optimism for naivety. My eyes are wide open and I won’t hesitate to call someone on their bullshit.