2017 has been the best year for an optimist

We all catch ourselves thinking we’re experiencing the worst of times and this old world continues to slip deeper into despair. As for myself, I have more times than I want to admit classified myself as a pessimist.
In a recent Rotarian magazine, an article written by author and regular magazine contributor Frank Bures points out most things feel worse than they actually are.
He explains those who view the year 2016 as the worst year ever and reinforced that idea by citing celebrity deaths, election results, climate change, racial tensions, crime, etc., became unstoppable and in 2017 the decline still hasn’t stopped.
“This downbeat trend has accelerated among people of all political stripes and it is noteworthy because it goes against the strongest current in American culture: our optimism and problems are meant to be solved,” Bures noted.
He continues quoting these statistics from numerous national columnists that hail 2017 to likely be the BEST year in the history of humanity and counteracts the pessimistic viewpoints. For example: World Bank figures show every day another 250,000 people graduate from extreme poverty; 300,000 get electricity for the first time; 285,000 get their first access to clean drinking water; now more than 85 percent of the world adult population can read; diseases are not spiraling out of control; and other rays of optimism abound.
We cannot let negativism contaminate the positives going on in this world. Stories are contagious and negative stories even more so.
Bures leaves us with a couple of thoughts. “Remember things are not as bad as they seem . . . and the world is far more perfect than it used to be,” he writes. Bures added: “It’s a simple fact that no problem has ever been solved by people who didn’t think it was possible to solve it.”
He concluded with my favorite comment: “When the story seems grim, rewrite the ending.”
Well, that’s enough seriousness and now for a closing smile
The Air Force unit was at an overseas base when the medics decided to give the airmen their annual immunization injections. They set up a regular assembly line and even pressed the veterinary surgeon into helping them. The first man got his injection from the “vet.”
“Gosh,” the young airman said, “you did that so gently I hardly felt it. How did you get so good at it?”
“I have to be gentle,” the doctor replied. “My patients can bite!”
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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