January 7, 2010

What Are You Optimistic About?

Japanese Kanji symbol for Optimism

Sometimes I fear I focus more on 'consume less', and not enough on 'live more'. Talk of a global depression with simultaneous climatic catastrophes makes life seem more hazardous than the Cold War years. It is easy to get caught up in the sensational doom and gloom headlines and disaster entertainment. Is there anything left to feel optimistic about?

Yesterday I was at the public library waiting for Linda to get off work. As I scanned a shelf of books one title jumped out at me - "What Are You Optimistic About? Today's Leading Thinkers On Why Things Are Good And Getting Better" edited by John Brockman. What? A whole book of good news? I grabbed it.

From Marc D. Hauser who is optimistic about the end of -isms, to Roger C. Schank who is looking forward to the end of the commoditization of knowledge, this book is all about launching into action from a positive place, rather than from frustration and anger.

We may not often hear about the good things that are happening all over our little planet, but happening they are. Will a sunlight-powered future help us on the oily slide down Hubbert's Peak? Will having more women in politics end war? Is capitalism aligning with the good? All of these movements, or revolutions, are getting up to speed in the background hum of chaos. Positive patterns are beginning to emerge from the ether.

The last time I checked, the world was still peopled with mostly warm-hearted, intelligent, caring human beings. I meet them daily. Friends, neighbours, cashiers at the grocery store, fellow walkers, people on-line, all behaving in a most non-apocalyptic manner.

I am optimistic that current and future hardships will draw us together as a community like none other that this world has ever seen. Through the Internet and travel, more of us are meeting each other than ever before, and it seems to me that we are not only getting along, but are also growing and thriving together.

Not that there isn't work to be done, but I feel like we are headed toward a more cooperative future guided by non-violence and doing the least amount of harm. A future where we can talk and share and learn together for the benefit of human kind. I am optimistic that our vast potential as a species will see us to a whole new level of being.

Realizing what we are doing well, celebrating our potential and focusing on solutions will get us to where we need to go. We live more by thinking positive thoughts. What are you optimistic about?


  1. Mountain Katie1/09/2010

    I recently attended a fundraiser for a group of high school teens preparing to travel to Haiti to do volunteer work. I stumbled into the theater,knowing only that my 13-year-old and his amazing choir had been asked to participate, and I was being a good mom by attending to watch Sam. What followed was some wonderful, heartwarming, and eclectic performances by the youth in our community.A country singer who wrote his own heartfelt lyrics, a talk poet who showed himself to be a deep, thoughtful thinker at 19, a Dhukabor youth choir that sings about peace and love, and of course my son's choir...60 young people singing their hearts out never fails to bring a joyful tear to my eye. I left the theater feeling more posivite about the world we live in than ever before. I have faith that the youth around us will continue the struggle for peace and harmony and happiness, that they will push positive and hopeful thoughts forward into action...that they CARE.

  2. Mountain Katie,

    Thank you for sharing your positive moment. Wow, how powerful is that? I also hold great hope that our young peoples' energy and talent will lead to great things. Music has the ability to bring out the best in us and each other. Thanks, again. It is good to feel good, and your comment made me feel good. Keep on singing, Sam.


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