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John Masterson: I'm a realist that is trying to remain positive

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(stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

Some words get cemented into our brains. I can never think of beginning March without the phrase "Beware the Ides" jumping into my thoughts. These words bring with them a sense of foreboding, even for people like me who don't know another thing about Julius Caesar apart from his grisly end. I begin March in the wrong frame of mind. This is particularly silly since the Ides were around the 15th. By then we should all be focussed on good things like St Patrick getting rid of the snakes, rather than looking around us wondering which of our friends have a bit of Brutus about them.

We often divide people into optimists and pessimists. I frequently duck that decision and say I'm a realist. But we do not look at evidence neutrally. We have a point of view and emotions. So am I an optimistic realist or a pessimistic realist? This reminds me of a friend who knew me well enough to be aware of my lack of religion. Then one day he discovered where I went to school and was flabbergasted. I can still hear him saying "you mean you are a real atheist. I thought you were only a Catholic atheist!"


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