What Are You Optimistic About?

Sometimes the world can feel like an overwhelming place. Clouds can darken anyone’s horizons. Holding on to optimism is important for a healthy outlook on life.

Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What are you optimistic about?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What makes a tradition?’

When you look to the future, what are the highlights you see? What are you optimistic about?

Related questions: How is hope different from optimism? How can we maintain wonder? What is your retreat from the world? What amazes you?

A tip of the Intellectual Roundtable cap to the Edge.org series of books, which are a great source of inspiration for the Intellectual Roundtable. What Are You Optimistic About? is one of more than a dozen such compilations.

8 thoughts on “What Are You Optimistic About?”

  1. What am I optimistic about? Many things.

    However, in these times I’d like to highlight the words from one of my favorite artists, Ben Harper. In the song “People Lead” off of his album “Fight for Your Mind,” Harper sings:

    “When the people lead
    The leaders they will have to follow”

    So I hope the people continue to show leadership. I hope that they (we) will not only resist. I hope that we will paint a picture of the future we want and then build it.

    The leaders … they will have to follow.

    1. “I hope that we will paint a picture of the future we want and then build it”. I agree. Some thoughts come immediately: equal opportunity for all, a more peaceful world, freedom from hunger, thirst, oppression, homelessness, loneliness, sickness, disease, and on and on.

      Michael, I think you have chosen a good place to start – feeding the hungry, and making sure people in Minnesota have adequate nutrition. My wife and and I contribute to this effort with regular gifts to 2nd Harvest or a similar group. I’m planning to work with my church to advocate for an increase to MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program). The monthly stipend to a deserving family of three hasn’t kept up with the cost of living–in fact it hasn’t increased in over thirty years. To me that’s incredible!
      Over Christmas my daughter and son-in-law, both advocates for social justice, encouraged me to work to unseat Erik Paulsen, my rep in Congress, for supporting our President and passing the terrible tax bill that takes money from poor children and gives it to the wealthiest Americans.

      So back to your question. Yes, I’m an optimist and believe that working together, we the people can accomplish great things. So let’s paint that picture of a just society and work to make it happen!

      1. Tom:

        As always, thanks for you optimism and actions. You should check out my Facebook feed. I’ve posted a cartoon I got from Julia Dinsmore’s feed that I believe speaks for both of us. I reads:

        Q: Why so optimistic about 2018? What do you think it will bring? Everything seems so messed up.
        A: I think it will bring flowers?
        Q: Yes? How come?
        A: Because I’m planting flowers.

        I note: “There are many things we can do to make for a better future. Planting flowers is one thing, for sure.” Now, replace “flowers” with other things we want in 2018 … building that future we want.


  2. I know some will consider my beliefs naive, but here goes.

    I am optimistic about the future because I believe the bible’s promise that God will soon bring an end to all wickedness, sickness, poverty and death. “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. ” Revelation 21:4
    Then people will live forever on a paradise earth. “But the meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace” Psalm 37:11.

    1. Cecily:

      You know I don’t share your spiritual beliefs. You know I am an atheist. But I would never call you “naive.” You bring a gentle kindness to the world, I think partially because of what you believe.

      Thank you for being my friend.

    2. Cecily, I for one, don’t think your beliefs are naïve. On the contrary, I think they are awesome! Thanks for sharing them.

  3. Michael and Tom:

    Thank you for your kindness! It is refreshing when others, who don’t share my beliefs, also don’t insult or belittle them.
    You see, I have been cussed out, had doors slammed in my face and been threatened with bodily violence. This is, of course, nothing to the persecution other members of my religion have faced or are currently facing. Still, it is nice to read kind words.
    Thank you, again

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