Are you some kinda optimist?

”Are you some kinda optimist?” Question from audience at a Stockholm lecture by Robert Gilman.

”Well I can look around and see a million reasons to be a pessimist,” replied Robert. ”And I can change my lenses and see a million reasons to be an optimist. All of the reasons are true and valid. So: it’s clearly a matter of choice.

”I’ve made my choice. I think I do more good as an optimist. Besides, optimists have more fun.”

Another valued colleague, Warren Ziegler, used to say ”Change happens when there is a reasonable balance between disappointment (or fear) and hope.” We need both, in order to create the tension and energy needed to bring about change. Simple formula:

All hopes and no fears = no need to change.
All fears and no hopes = no energy for change.

So here’s a challenge. It seems that mass media, politicians and (some) NGOs (to name but a few) focus more on the fears than the hopes. Feed on them, even. They drain us of vital energy, if we let them.

Resist! The planet needs lotsa kinda optimists! Are you one of them? How do you do it?

PS After a week with youth teams in Kosova I’ve had my hope-store refilled. Big thanks, all of you!