Beneath my occasional cynicism and getting trapped in the past, I am a relatively optimistic person. While it may sometimes me a while, I usually try to find the good in most experiences or look for the "lesson" when thing go wrong or are unpleasant. Naive? Perhaps a little sometimes, but is being hopeful always naive?
I am a realist that still thinks of possibilities. There may be only one winner of a lottery ticket, why couldn't it be me as well as someone else. Tenacity has always been a strength and there are always multiple ways to an end.
I find people wearing who are constantly negative,who always find the tear in the silver lining or see that one cloud in the sky as the rain shower headed directly for them. While I will try to turn them around to see the brighter more positive side of things, I have to admit that there are times that I just tune them out.
I find kids by nature to be a pretty hopeful and optimistic crowd. I get concerned when I have heard my own kids express dismay about how missed up things are and about their unspoken concerns about their futures and the life and world they will face as adult. As parents we try to keep our kids looking at the possibilities of life and not get stuck behind the idea of limitations as insurmountable, for obstacles will present themselves soon enough.
A couple of weeks ago during the inauguration my seventeen year old reminded me that for almost half his life George W. Bush has been president and the political environment that surrounded Bush has been just about all that he remembers from his adolescent years. Hearing this and yes appreciating how enormously significant eight years is in the life of someone young, I had a totally new appreciation for the excitement and hope that had sprung alive with our new president. No wonder there is more cynicism when that is what you hear day in and day out from your leaders.
I remember talking with my youngest (15) during the primaries and asking her opinion of whether it would be more significant to have a first woman president or a first African-American president. She said that she had though about that for a while and she thought that while both were very significant, it would be a much greater stretch for this country to accept an African-American than a woman as president. Interesting I thought, and true in many ways and how wonderfully interesting and so significant it was that we were even having this discussion.
Even during dark times the flame of hope if still there, waiting for the fuel and gentle breeze to rekindle its flame until it burns brightly again.