Slice of Life: It’s Hard To Be An Optimist In A Pessimistic World

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

Is it just me or are things seemingly sliding further and further off kilter? I think, or I hope, by nature, I am normally an optimist, seeing possibilities instead of barriers. That’s one reason why I am a teacher. The future always looks bright from the classrooms of today. But I am also a realist, and from this seat, it seems like the world at large has gone slant.

Politics. Economics. Environment. Pandemic. Will the new year be better? I hope so but I am not so certain, given the undercurrents of division and chaos that seems to be nearly everywhere. And 2022 has all the markings of another year of more political tumult (and Trump).

Comic: New Year 2022

Look, I’m not throwing my hands up and giving up on the world.

I’m going to continue to look small. I love my neighborhood, and all of the people here. We look after each other. We connect. I love my networks online where I make art and share writing and create things together, globally. I love my family and our dogs. I love the woods, the rivers, the quiet spaces. And I still love teaching, even though public education has become increasingly stressful and difficult, and politicized.

I’ll hold on to those other small things. Because when I look at the larger world … good lord … it’s hard to believe we’re heading in the right direction anymore.

(Then I remind myself: Covid vaccines are an engineering/medical miracle on a scale never seen before. So there’s that, for those of us in the developed world. And clean energy technology is developing at a rapid pace. That’s good, too. And young people are demanding a better world through collective action. Another good thing … hmmm … maybe I woke up too pessimistic this morning.)

Peace (shaking it off),

  1. I am concentrating on the small too when life wider seems too much. It is challenging to remain an optimist, but you have found ways.

  2. Reading Abundance and Factfulness helped me see that there is probably more positive in the world than negative. I believe it’s still true even though it seems that everything is rolling down hill. I am afraid it is the media that booms the doom too loudly. I too am a collector of small good things.

  3. I am cautiously optimistic about what 2022 holds for us. I am nervous about the political ramifications of the upcoming elections, especially considering all of the voter suppression efforts. But from a Covid standpoint, I’m hoping that things will get better by the springtime.

    Happy new year, Kevin!

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