September 27, 2012

PUBLISHER’S CORNER – Optimism: Should We Complain or Be Grateful?

By Eloise Graham

Next month is a big election. According to the polls, one half of the country will be happy about the outcome, and the other half will not. But we, as individuals and as a country, must keep moving forward.

We can be grateful that we are allowed to go to the polls to place our ballots. We can be thankful we may worship at the place of our choosing on our Day of Rest – whether it be Saturday or Sunday. We may not be able to audibly give praise in government or public places, but we can still worship silently. We can be thankful that we have many institutions and organizations that offer to help the unfortunate. We can be thankful that we have a strong sense of volunteerism. We always seem to pull together in adverse situations.

As individuals, we can be thankful for family and friends. Sure, we all know of someone who is a thorn to us, but we can overlook them and dwell on the good people in our lives. Perhaps, we can even learn from that “thorn” to make us a better person. We can be thankful for our health. Sure, we all have aches and pains and some limitations, but some health is better than no health at all. What’s the alternative?

Optimism is good for your health. Positive thoughts help the body combat depression and disease while negative thoughts cause stress and a weakened immune system. This is nothing new. Just think back to many of the songs you grew up with. “Keep on the Sunny Side,” “Look for the Silver Lining,” “The Sunny Side of the Street” and “When You Walk Through a Storm” are only a few. Those old time lyricists knew what the modern psychologists are now telling us.

My granddaughter Kaylie, age 14 at the time, wrote an English paper about “Optimism.” I would like to share some of that with you.

“How Optimism Helps Me Overcome Obstacles”
by Kaylie Kohel

“Optimism is looking at a glass as half full, instead of half empty; when one door closes, another door of opportunity opens; way of life. If I remain optimistic, I can conquer almost anything or get around virtually any obstacle. My dream is to become a great basketball player. In order to achieve my dream of being a good basketball player, I need to practice, remain optimistic, and be determined to get better. When I miss a lay-up or jump shot, I just have to stay strong and say, “It’s OK, I’ll get the next one.” If I got down on myself and don’t pick my head up, there is no way that I would get better…”

“…. When coach yelled at me, which he did quite often, I just had to take the criticism and use it to make me a better player. If I cried or made a big deal about him yelling, I would not improve. He was just trying to make me a stronger player, and I thank him for that. Optimism is a great way to help get you through life.”

“Optimism will get you through life. So when something is completely wrong, try and pick out one good thing that can come from the situation you are in, and your whole mindset could be reversed.”

I am thankful for my granddaughter and optimistic about the adults of tomorrow when we have youth like her today.
Now go out, smile and be thankful for something!!!