Optimism, scattergun approach to

An opinion piece in the ODT yesterday, about a ra-ra- go-gettem speech given to some graduands. Very the prime of Miss Jean Brodie, but a little dated and sour, now. We are handing those youngsters a planet half-stuffed, and telling them it’s their oyster?  No pearl, and sorry about the lack of calcium carbonate? No, they need to be told ‘sorry’. Sorry, we didn’t know what we were doing – at first. Sorry, but even when we did know what we were doing, we went right on doing it. That those of us who suggested there might be a better (and I’m here to tell you it’s a more fun) way, are castigated as ‘doom and gloomers’. That is an unfair, and at the end of the day, untruthful accusation. Sure, on-deck morale is important during a sinking phase, but the sinking is the thing that needs addressed, you have to target the morale.

As you have to target their (the graduands) energies. It’s not good enough to say ‘the world’s your oyster’ any more, they need to be directed to the point on the wheel that they need to apply their shoulders. Otherwise, as Calvin said to Hobbes recently: “Hooray, we’re dead!” Misguided optimism is a waste of effort, and has the potential to aid in the misdirection of other effort – as the Dunedin Stadium demonstrates.

If I went a’coffeeing in the Cant’y hinterland, I wouldn’t be raving about the Farmers markets – I’d be asking what is behind their resurgence. If I came out of Carisbrook having enjoyed the experience (I last did so in 63?, and didn’t) I’d argue to keep the arena, not to destroy it. Glass half full? Half empty? Wouldn’t know, I drink out of a mug………..


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