Daily Meditation

I Am Fundamentally an Optimist-Daily Meditation 6.7.23

Today’s quotation:

I am fundamentally an optimist.  Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say.  Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, and one’s feet moving forward.  There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair.-Nelson Mandela

Today’s Meditation:

It’s funny to see how many people have the image of an optimist as a person who’s constantly (even annoyingly) cheerful, who never has a down moment, and who’s constantly spouting upbeat phrases to cheer other people up.  In my own experience, being an optimist is nothing like that.  You don’t even need to smile a lot to be an optimist if that’s not being true to your personality.  An optimist is simply a person who, in her or his heart, knows that things will eventually work out for the best, no matter how bleak things look now.

When people argue against being optimistic, I usually hear, “But look at how terrible things are for me.  I have no reason to be optimistic.  And I always want to ask, “Yeah, but what about tomorrow or next week?”  These people don’t realize that by staying focused on the negative things that are going on, they often keep themselves from seeing potential good or even greater good.  And because they see only bad, they’ve conditioned themselves to expect only bad.

An optimist can see something terrible and accept it as terrible but then try to find ways to create a greater good from the situation.  A woman whose husband just left her may be struggling to support the kids right now, but she doesn’t have to deal with abuse anymore, and in her current challenges, she will uncover a great deal of strength and resilience that she never knew she had.  And while the road may be difficult, the destination is potentially more beautiful than any destination would have been otherwise.

Bad things happen to good people and bad.  People get hurt, and things get destroyed.  But things that happen are simply things that happen, and it’s up to us to turn our adversity into blessings, to turn what seems to be a hopeless situation into a situation rife with possibility and potential.  That’s the job of an optimist, whether she or he is walking around smiling all the time or not.  Being an optimist is looking for beauty when others see only ugliness, hope when others see only despair, love when others see only anger and hatred, and looking for peace when others see only strife.

Questions to consider:

Are you an optimist?  What, to you, are the main qualities of an optimist?

Why do so many people have such a warped idea of what it means to be an optimist?

What are some of the effects of being a pessimist?

For further thought:

I have become my version of an optimist.  If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another or make a door.  Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present is.-Rabindranath Tagore

If you missed our last Daily Meditation, it is here.


BeckyWillis is a "glass is half full" type of person, so she decided that she would share that with others. After going on 15 years in the blogosphere she decided it was time to make a change and in doing so help uplift others. Her husband is her biggest cheerleader; you can visit his site at https://lifeasrog.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *