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Optimism – Room 32

“If you had a choice, “I heard the voice of a friend, far more concerned than the seriousness of the situation would suggest. In my opinion, it was rather insignificant, at least from his perspective, but he is a type who cares about the fate of others. “If you had a choice, standing in front of an executioner on your own execution, would you prefer to be beheaded with a sharp sword, or a blunt axe?”

I took the question seriously, although the conditions were definitely unfavourable. We were sitting in a crowded bus, the June heat was pouring through the open window. I was hungry. The only lesson I managed to learn from the so-called “educational trip” was that a plate of nachos and a bit of avocado is not enough for all-day meal. Dinner was tasty, it’s a fact – I remember it fondly to this day – but then I wished that I’ d made a decision to have a more satisfying meal. My mood wasn’t improved by knowledge that that night probably the most important conversation of my whole life, which my entire future absolutely depended on, was waiting for me.

I hardly remember that in the background I could hear indistinct sounds of a French song, of a potential hit of the coming summer, but I didn’t even bother to find out what its title was. My legs hurt, and in the short term I had four hour wandering in the centre of my city – it doesn’t raise the interest in music news.

“Well?” he urged me, seeing that in my mind I was everywhere but not on the way, leading straight to Upper Silesia.

For forty minutes I was explaining to him my philosophy, based on assumption of “seizing the day” now, when we have our supposedly best years of life. And he argued that we should face the consequences.

“If I don’t try today, in a few years I will be angry because of my cowardice.”

“But if you don’t succeed, you will be deprived of any hope.”

“It will still be better than passive vegetation, “I said firmly.

At this point he began to explain to me an unclear comparison of the current situation to that execution. I could choose a blunt axe and hope for salvation at the last minute, or be killed with a single blow, without much suffering. But to be dead. To be dead undeniably and inevitably.

“Well, it’s your choice, “he said, trying to use an encouraging tone. “Just think carefully, if you really want this?”

Now, thinking with the benefit of experience, I can see how foolish my sacred belief that my idea of a solution to the problem was the only right option was. I risked everything then, being ready to lose what was the most important in the world.

I lost.

Sometimes I wondered what came over me that I did something that was so silly? People told me that it was courage. I opted for a frightening recklessness. However, today, I know that it was my natural optimism.

“The chance that things will go well, is one in a million” I calculated. A year spent on learning extended math gave me the wrong conviction that I could rely on my own calculations. “But was it Sir Terry Pratchett that thought that one in a million works in nine out of ten cases?”

I believed in success, regardless of what people around me said. I believed, because my general attitude to the reality around us is positive.

Although that day nothing went according to happy assumptions, and my everyday life has changed dramatically by that blow with a sharp sword, I’m the happiest person in our universe precisely because at that time I trusted good feelings and I made the right choice.


Rysanaszkle, Room 32

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