A Core of Optimism

Person hand feeding a small wild bird
Image credit: photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash.

Your whole life is a manifestation of the thoughts that go round in your head.

Lisa Nichols.

My natural belief has always been that most people are intrinsically good and that I have been blessed as a recipient of heart-centered love and kindness from others on a regular basis. As someone who takes pride in seeking the positive aspect in situations and in others, otherwise referred to, as a “Pollyanna”, a new self-awareness I’ve observed within myself, and others, has been quite disturbing.

Recently I’ve noticed that my natural faith in humanity and the goodness in people have been waning just a bit at times. The recent occurrences in our country have shaken me, and other positive-minded people, enough to test even those with the most optimistic outlook.

Too Many Tragedies

It can be challenging at times for even those of us who tend to be an eternal optimist to stay positive and open to the belief that people are kind, loving and giving more than they’re not when faced with ceaseless unspeakable tragedies throughout the world.

A few recent prominent ones come to mind from my client psychotherapy sessions, which have had even the most hopeful people becoming discouraged. These include:

  • The white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • The terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain.
  • The explosion at the Arianna Grande concert in Manchester, England.
  • The shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an all-inclusive list. The violence and outpouring of hate across the country and the world can often feel never-ending and test our faith in the goodness of humanity.

Casting a Ray of Hope

The recent tragedy in Houston, and surrounding areas in Texas, was devastating. But the response to the disaster came as a wonderful reminder that the world really isn’t all about the awful stuff which is often most prominent.

Hurricane Harvey brought out an outpouring of people’s love, heart, money, generosity, energy and time. Despite the horrible tragedy, Hurricane Harvey brought out the best in people to remind us that, Yes, people are loving, caring, selfless and generous. 

  • Many people on fixed and limited incomes gave whatever they could afford, and then some, and displayed how eager we are to help one another in a time of need. 
  • The child who emptied his entire bank account to support the Red Cross, and the little girl who set up a lemonade stand and donated her proceeds, reminded us how important it is to teach our children to grow up and be kind people.
  • Even the multitudes of corporations, such as Amazon, Walmart, Dell and Disney, who are generally perceived as self-serving, stepped up and donated huge amounts of money. 

These gestures helped us realize that no matter how big or small, how rich or poor, we all feel compassion for one another. Striving to have a positive outlook can help us identify this attribute more easily than always feeling overwhelmed by negative occurrences.

The Lens We View the World Through

How we view others and ourselves determines what quality of life we have, or don’t have.

Discover more tips on regaining faith in the goodness of humanity in my complete article

My wish for you today is that you can nurture a hopeful outlook by recognizing the small acts of kindness that make a big difference in the world.

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