Expressing confidence not fully felt is something we often do for each other: “You’re qualified for that job and you have as good a chance as anyone.” “Don’t worry, we’ll find her.” “They caught the cancer early, that’s a good thing.” What if we were generally the opposite?
There are several things I don’t mean when I pose the question: I don’t mean humorous cynicism; I don’t mean “what-if” worrying; I don’t mean injecting a note of warning into a conversation that is over-optimistic.What if we reflexively tried to tell others – our children, our friends - they were less competent? That the odds were more against them than we believed? If we tried to cheer people down instead of cheer them up? What would happen?
I ask even those who seldom comment to try and put in a sentence or two on this. And if you wish to write at greater length, please do. Heck, write an entire essay if you want. I’m interested.