I hear that everyone is tired of politics these days. So, let’s us take a break here too. Why not? Spring feels like it’s on the move and now that we’ve all gotten used to the time change, well, there’s a lot of flower beds and bar-b-que grills that need some refreshing. So let me ask my last political question of the day and move on: Is there really a divide between Republicans and Democrats in this country?
Not nearly as huge a chasm as lies between optimists and pessimists. That’s what it all boils down to if you ask me. There’s been a huge trade in pessimism here in America lately. Pessimistic fears and doomsday scenarios attract viewers to all kinds of disaster-junkie TV programs; books about the end of the world span any number of book store sections. Well, that’s the American way I suppose, ratings and profits that feed our appetites aren’t going away.
Pessimists see the glass half empty, we’ve all heard that one, but it appears these days they also think the glass is out to get them! And should the glass be full to overflowing, the pessimist in the crowd denies even a sip to anyone else. What would happen if they suddenly got thirsty themselves and didn’t have enough? Among the most devoted of pessimists, the dominant chord can become so deeply negative that they lose their sense of pride, not just in themselves, but in their country. When everything around you is wrong, and nothing can go right, it’s a sad and scary place to be.
Optimists get a bad rap too. You know, the “cock-eyed optimist,” the Polly-Anna who sugar coats everything and can’t face facts. That’s the kind I hated most when I was a young woman: always seeing the bright side, making lemonade out of lemons, and being driven to cheer everyone up just wasn’t for me. I had no use for it. But one day, too many years ago to admit, I realized that there are some things that hard-bitten skepticism and a worldly bias against silver-linings can’t inoculate you from. When you find yourself up against the knocks only the real world can give, both false cheer and habitual gloom fall away. How many of us have found ourselves in a world of pain, hoping for hope? Slowly realizing that the only way up lies through our own hearts, and our own willingness to start making that lemonade. Slowly the silver linings become easier to find and before you know it, you start to expect good to happen, even when you least expect it. Gratitude is the technical term I believe.
So, long story short, I was redeemed from pessimistic limbo and got so excited that I began considering starting a business making enough lemonade to perk everyone up! Stopped just short of buying the franchise. It was being down that brought me up, and I’d hate to try to steal that experience from anyone.
It’s hard not to be optimistic these days, when flowers and green things are springing out from every spot that used to be drab and brown. But even on the rainy afternoons and during the cold spells, let me simply remind you that you never know what’s just around the corner, and if you’re an optimist, like me, it can make you smile just thinking about it.