Optimism is defined as: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
As we come upon the start of this new year, I’m seeing more than I would have expected about how awful 2015 was, and the best we can look forward to in 2016 is more of the same. Or worse.
It may be that 2015 was a horrible year, for many valid reasons. Commenting on it one way or the other will not change it.
People were maltreated, abused, bruised, battered, bludgeoned, and beaten by life, this past year and years before. This does encourage pessimistic sentiments.
But that is not the title or point of this essay.
Sometimes things happen which make one think the whole world, perhaps even the whole universe, is against one, plotting one’s downfall or total annihilation.
As much as that may seem to be the case, it is not true.
One may think the deck is stacked against them in particular, but the odds are more or less equally not in anyone’s favor. The world is rough, life is hard, and if it’s not hard, it’s hard work. That is what we’ve got to deal with.
But we can deal with it from one of two viewpoints: an optimistic viewpoint or a pessimistic viewpoint.
Few people know this golden secret: The world is only as one sees it, the future only what one makes it. No more; no less.
Where there is a will, there is a way. And if the first way, plan A, doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet, and about 20 more alphabets available after that.
Giving up or giving in is a choice, not fate or destiny or circumstance.
One is one’s own worst enemy, the holder of all the chains that hold one down, the creator of all the shadows that darken one’s world.
Any chain or shadow thrown at a person by another, or the universe at large, takes root and grows only when the person themself plants it and waters the seed.
Soon, all that person will see is a dismal, bleak garden overgrown with weeds, with no room for the brightly colored flowers of life.
The best herbicide for these weeds? Optimism. Hope. Not rose-colored glasses, but only the idea that things can get better, and that you can make it so.
It is not necessary to envision a Utopia or a life of total bliss, or to strive for such.
Even if things were a mere hair better, slightly more tolerable, one would have the spirit of it.
If a person found just one more reason to smile, enjoyed one more sunset, said one more kind word to bring a light to another’s face in the whole year than they did the year before, it would be an improvement.
It would be a step in the right direction.
And perhaps, if enough people take that one step to make things just a tiny bit better, that perfect world will become reality, and not just an unachievable Utopian dream.
Perhaps we may even see it in 2016.
One can hope 🙂