Ray Bradbury on Optimism

illustration by jess smart smiley, link from swiss-miss.com

INTERVIEWERHow important has your sense of optimism been to your career?

BRADBURY: I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing. If you behave every day of your life to the top of your genetics, what can you do? Test it. Find out. You don’t know—you haven’t done it yet. You must live life at the top of your voice! At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes. I learned a lesson years ago. I had some wonderful Swedish meatballs at my mother’s table with my dad and my brother and when I finished I pushed back from the table and said, God! That was beautiful. And my brother said, No, it was good. See the difference?

Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today. It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad—you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.

Read the full interview at the Paris Review.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Ray Bradbury on Optimism”
  1. LordByrum says:

    Very cool! Great Illustration!

  2. Christine Allison says:

    Hi there! We are doing The Big Read in Dallas, and the book we will be reading is Fahrenehit 451. We are going to have a website up next week for The Big Read, and I would love to post your piece with the illustration and artwork on our blog. Possible? Thanks! Great work!

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      Very fun! I’m all about the book and The Big Read is something I look forward to each fall. Feel free to share the picture and slip in a link to the blog or something. Thanks for thinking to ask!

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