Gary Moore: Breathe in the optimism
Optimism is the key to our future.
It is easy in today’s 24-hour news environment to let the cable news channels drain our optimism. Let’s face it, it’s profitable for those in the business of selling tragedy, fear and negativity to have us glued to our television as the talking heads use negativity to keep us riveted to the tube.
Why do they do it? It works … and because we allow them to do it. Both sides will claim this tactic only is used by the other, but in truth, it is their successful marketing plan. Tragedy, negativity and fear sells.
Like you, I have political views. I have a firm set of beliefs that guides me in my life and in the ballot box, but I refuse to let those same beliefs rule my life and my relationships. I choose to remain optimistic in our future and believe the best in others. It is a choice I make. I encourage you to do the same.
We are less than two months away from the midterm election. Regardless of the outcome, our republic will survive. I don’t always agree with outcomes, but I do trust the will and wisdom of the majority.
The day after the election, I’ll either be happy or disappointed in the results, but I pledge to put those feelings aside and let my optimism rule the day. An election is not going to determine my happiness or success. I am asking you to adopt a similar attitude. If you allow your optimism to be drained away, it leaves a void where misery and depression can take root.
Wisdom of a castaway …
I find lessons of hope and optimism wherever I look. In the movie “Castaway” with Tom Hanks, I find one of the best. Hanks plays a FedEx executive who, through a plane crash, finds himself stranded on a small desolate island. If there was ever a reason to lose your hope and optimism, this might be it. He adapts well, but after three years alone, he slowly begins to lose hope. Depression takes hold. He tries to escape but cannot paddle his raft past the power of the coral reef surrounding his island. He plans his suicide but cannot bring himself to enact his plan to die by hanging. He lives on, alone and sinking deeper into depression.
One day, he finds what looks like a section of a porta-potty has washed ashore. He examines it and realizes it can serve as a sail and might be his key to escape. He now has hope, and his optimism returns. He enthusiastically builds a raft and upon completion, sets off on what he hopes is his journey home. He knows the odds are against him, but he takes his chance and his sail successfully takes him out to sea.
Days pass and he finds no land in sight. However, a passing freighter spots him afloat and barely conscious and saves him. Happy ending? Not so fast …
Upon returning to civilization, he learns the love of his life, has moved on. Kelly Frears, played by Helen Hunt, has married someone else and has a child. Once again, Hanks is devastated but has learned a valuable lesson from his ordeal as a castaway. He tells his best friend of his sadness in losing his love, but then says …
“I was stranded without hope. I had control over nothing, but one day, unexpectedly out of nowhere, the tide brought me a sail.” He paused for a moment, then said, “I learned that I have to keep breathing. I never know what tomorrow’s tide will bring.”
Elections, shootings, terrorist threats and all other kinds of horrendous acts can take our hope away. It’s all there for us to absorb. Although those in control of “selling the news” might not want you to remember, but we live in a country that is a beacon of democracy for the rest of the world. We have food in abundance, record employment and a booming economy. The opportunities for success abound and regardless of your memories of the past, our future is bright.
I understand that we all have our personal circumstances to handle. Some have lost a loved one or suffered a financial loss. Maybe you recently were downsized or lost your dream job. Others are dealing with disease or illness and the future looks bleak. How you handle your current circumstances, is still your personal choice. You can give in to the negativity or perceived hopelessness … or you can look ahead with hope and optimism.
In those times, I want you to remember this lesson from the “Castaway” and say, “I have to keep breathing. I never know what tomorrow’s tide will bring in.”