In my Christmas reading package was a book by French journalist and writer Jean-Claude Guillebaud. This pointed me to the following quote from Goethe, which translates from French to, “The pessimist punishes himself to be an observer.”
In these gloomy times, many people have every incentive to be too dismal. Who in the World Bank or elsewhere would want to underestimate the implications of the global financial turmoil on poverty? Who in the IMF would want to underestimate the further complications to come? Who in governments would advise his or her minister to ignore the impact of the crisis?
For this New Year, let’s wish to policy makers in our home and host countries that they are optimistic … and not just observers.