Monday, 14 June 2010


The Union of Belgian Optimists held their first-ever congress last week in Brussels. One of the speakers was the cardiologist to the King, Professor Pedro Brugada, who spoke about optimism as an antidote to stress, and all that that entails.

"It's difficult to remain optimistic if you're surrounded by people who see things in black," he said. "That's why I find it important to support movements like this which put optimism into society, and offer a counterweight to the overwhelming melancholy."

It may not occur to him that "overwhelming melancholy" is the only really sane response to the world. It clearly doesn't occur to him that for a melancholic, the presence of an optimist is the very last thing likely to bring relief.

On the other hand, he is a doctor of the heart. He surely must know what he's talking about.