I have started to continue blogging. I want to continue developing and sharing my positive attitude, so I have decided to create the "An Optimist's Eye" project for 2015. I start the New (Julian calendar) Year afresh with this project. I plan to write a few times a month and see what grows from the writing.
Meanwhile, the completed fourth volume of "A Year of Living Positively" has been uploaded, though in crude form, to my Smashwords profile. I may review that work and come up with some further reflections in the form of a comprehensive book using some of the posts. I may just let it be as it is now. For now, it is brewing on a back burner.
I am a natural born optimist. The skeptics have, naturally on their part, been skeptical of this optimism, or puzzled at my constant state of happiness, despite all my life obstacles and traumas. It's been seen as a weakness. They have often supposed that I was not getting something.
The skeptics have accused me of idealism. Yes, that is a fair criticism.
What is idealism? It is subscribing to a set of ideals, which are values and goals. The Google dictionary defines ideals this way: a standard of perfection; a principle to be aimed at ("tolerance and freedom, the liberal ideals"). An idealist, then, is broadly understood to be a perfectionist, and therefore regarded by many as a fool.
Let's pursue that logic and look at the implications of labeling an optimist a perfectionist. It is not logical that an optimist is necessarily a person seeking perfection. An optimist sees benefits, advantages and goodness in most situations. An optimist sees a problem as an opportunity to make things better. An optimism has hope and takes action to change the situation. That does not mean insisting that everything be perfect. That does not imply seeking perfect relationships and a perfect way of life. In fact, optimism means accepting imperfections, knowing that problems are part of life, but dealing with it and remaining positive about them, that is to say happy. It just means striving to be better and to change things for the better. Only someone with a negative outlook would accept problems and suffer or let suffering happen without considering other options or searching for solutions. The pessimist would let himself and others get or stay sick, live a lower quality life, accept oppression and injustice. The pessimist does not believe that one can accept problems and be content because a pessimist must feel dejected by every problem. Who is really the foolish one, I ask?
The most remarkable thing is a pessimist who fights to oppose optimism and blocks positive change. Such a creature does exist, I am afraid to say, and not in small numbers. Indeed, cynicism and darkness abound, these days. Fear and aggression are thriving and multiplying in this climate as major issues for which there are solutions crying out to be heard and applied, are festering and causing widespread degradation and tragedy, quite needlessly because the pessimists just do not want to believe and try.
Efforts must be made to sow and cultivate optimism. I hope to help with that task by continuing this new blog.