As I read through what is becoming a considerable backlog of blog posts, I noticed something. I noticed that I felt more than a little derisive towards what Dan, Clark, and I had written over the months. After all, it could easily be said (as I found even myself saying it) that we are overly optimistic Pollyannas, far too determined to make a moral out of everything.
Then again, that’s just one side of the coin.
I’m learning through both my work and my own personal growth that there is power in interpretation. The way we define our experiences determines our reality, and, in turn, how we go about events in the first place.
Cynicism is an easy trap to fall into. It surrounds us from the TV we watch to the conversations we have when we hang out with our friends. But the more we let cynicism determine how we view the world, the easier it becomes to view things through that lens.
Let me give an example. I often see people who come in to services at the end of their rope. People who struggle with chronic illness, or with homelessness, or with the sheer despair that comes from being rudderless in an unforgiving world. In short, people who have every reason to be pessimistic. That pessimism, I find, is infectious, and if I’m not careful, that nagging sense of “why bother” bleeds out of my office and into my personal life.
It is easy to lose hope when things seem hopeless, and to let that hopelessness become not only a barrier, but a lifestyle.
So, the optimism shall continue. Because optimism is valid, just as valid as the pessimism that has become the default. Because optimism is so important, and so overlooked. Maybe you will think we are Pollyannas because of it, and maybe you’ll be right. But if you want to dismiss what we are saying because of this, challenge that thought. Every coin has two sides, and every challenge a chance to define your own reality.