…going after Moby Dick in a rowboat, and taking Tartar Sauce with you!
When I saw this in an email to me I thought, Wow - what a great subject to write about.
The opposite of optimism is pessimism. It is hard to write about one without talking about the other. Sure, if we want to think about being negative, about the bad things we are seeing in the world, or about all the no’s that we get when wanting to do something, this writing could go on for hours.
Although I must admit that there are many times when I am not sure about being positive about my world, I feel blessed to even be here at the age of eighty-five.
I remember a song that began with…
“You have to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative, and don’t mess with Mr. In-between. My last remark… Jonah in the Whale - Noah in the Ark… what did we do just when everything seemed so dark? We had to… (repeat of the first few bars).”
Talk about old people losing their memory! I haven’t lost all of mine, and that song might have been in my mind for at least seventy years. The words are as true today as they have been from the beginning of time.
Early man had a lot to be happy about. I guess Adam and Eve were the first two people to be optimistic about their world. Now, please let’s not get bogged down in the discussion about the beginning of our world and how it got started - that would be way off course. I prefer to talk about today and how blessed I am to be here today - happy in my house, my city and - of course - my country. And on a bigger stage, I’m happy that there is a world for me to be in. That may be stretching it, but I do believe that most people don’t think about their world or how blessed we all are to be able to live, to breathe, to smile, to laugh and enjoy so many of the good things that we can enjoy every day.
At this very moment - as I’m writing this - the lady I hire to clean my house once a week has come into my office. She just had tears in her eyes because her world is not a happy one. Her son is in jail on some minor offense. Her husband doesn’t have a regular job, and maybe has a drinking problem and some other things… too many negative things to talk about now.
Telling her to be more optimistic about her life would be like telling someone who is dying from cancer to get off their bed and be more optimistic about their life.
We should all realize that some of us can afford, so to speak, to be optimistic because we don’t have children in jail, we are alive in a free country, and we can afford to live in nice houses, eat the foods we want to eat, go to restaurants that we want to go to, and watch the television programs that we want to watch.
Let’s remember that, in some countries around the world, the people do not always have the same freedom that we enjoy in this country. So, for one, let’s be optimistic about our lives, because we live in a country that allows us to easily be optimistic about where and how we live.
Then, perhaps the most important ingredient for happiness is dependent upon our health. If we are healthy then we are wealthy! If my mother and father were alive they would appreciate what I just wrote, because those words - although heard all the time - were first heard by me, as they were often preached to me by them.
I have had a good life. I was raised in a good family. I’ve lived in nice neighborhoods. I was instilled with good moral input. I had a good education. I was married to a wonderful lady for forty-seven years. I am fortunate to have a significant other whom I live with now, who also is optimistic about her life and her future with me. My children are happy with their own families.
This country that I live in is at peace, at least, now with the world. That is not the case in so many other countries in the world, where people live with turmoil and so many other obstacles to overcome in pursuit of their own objective to be happy and optimistic.
While writing this I realize that being optimistic is easy to write about and easy to say… but it’s not so easy to be what the words say. Being optimistic is a goal, and unless we reinforce the sense of being optimistic we run the risk of having the feeling of optimism turn to the feeling of pessimism. I prefer the former!
Bottom line - if I am going after Moby Dick, I am going to go out prepared to get him. I will have the right boat with the right equipment, and my knowledge of how to achieve my goal will be with me, because I approached the task with intelligence and - of course - with optimism!
Don't worry - be happy!
Copyright George Green © 2016 Rancho Mirage, CA, USA