An interesting part of a great New York Times article on optimism and pessimism.
Americans, too, are lowering their expectations, at least in one respect. According to the Census Bureau’s 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States, most college freshmen in 1970 said their primary goal was to develop a meaningful life philosophy. In 2005, by contrast, most freshmen said their primary goal was to be comfortably rich — a more modest one, it would seem, given the relative frequency of wealth and wisdom.
As for the minority still seeking a philosophy of life, the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus came up with a formula nearly a century ago that remains the perfect blend of optimism and pessimism: Things are hopeless but not serious.
Its kind of fun to feel part of a idealistic minority.