I’m not very optimistic……REALLY???

im not really optimistic

by Kenneth Justice

~Last week at coffee the group at my table was talking about the future. The consensus of most of the people sitting with me is that the future of the world doesn’t look very bright.

—) Economic blight and instability seems to be here to stay

—) War in the Middle East will go on till the end of time

—) Violence (gun shootings, murder) seems like it will never end

All of those things and more were used as evidence for the dire predictions everyone was making about the future. Nobody seemed to have a positive forecast for the coming years.

Perhaps my mind is just too deluded from all the coffee I drink……but I don’t have such a negative view of the future. I can only think that the best is yet to come. I mean think about it, how much worse can it really get?

—) Seems to me like there are more people out of jobs than ever, but its gotta get better

—) Seems to me like violence has always been around

—) Seems to me  like economies go up and down like a roller coaster throughout history

I guess more importantly, I feel that if I allow myself to be overwhelmed with thinking about a dire future…..than what good will that do in assisting me in helping to make things better?

When I worked as a substance abuse counselor I often thought about attitude; some of my clients had the attitude that they ‘could never overcome their addiction’ and ‘this is my lot in life’. So a big part of my responsibility as a counselor was being a constant encouragement; I had to tell them the best is yet to come.

Perhaps you and I have to reassess our expectations; if we are going to live in reality we know that it is unlikely the huge and lofty economic dreams we had as children may never come to fruition….but that’s okay. We can replace our old dreams with new dreams.

Perhaps our new vision for the future needs to be different than our old vision. Perhaps our new vision needs to be connected to working together with each other more than we ever expected we would need to do.

For instance, when I was younger I probably thought that individually I would be able to make all of my economic dreams come true…..all by myself. Then as I got older and costs of living skyrocketed, while salaries and jobs took a downward spiral I realized that my dreams may never come true……..I began to lose hope.

But, then I started observing recent immigrants to the United States and the way they pooled their resources together. It amazed me to find out that first generation immigrants in the United States make up one of the largest percentiles of new business owners in my country.

–) They are succeeding because they are working together

–) They are succeeding because they are not doing it alone

–) They are succeeding because many of the countries they have come from are even worse off economically than the United States

Have many of us been given the short end of the stick by our government? Yes.

Have many of us been told lies about the value of our college education? Yes.

Have many of us taken advantage of by the political leaders in office? Yes

But at a certain point, just like I told my clients at the rehab clinic; I have to change my attitude if I want to have a better life. I can’t dwell too long on the people and leaders who have screwed me. I can’t waste my time thinking about the way it ‘should of been’.

The best is yet to come

I have a faith in humanity. Perhaps it stems from my faith in God and my belief we are created in the image of the divine creator. Nonetheless, I believe we humans have tremendous ingenuity power and if we put our minds to it; we can overcome the obstacles in place and build a bridge to our dreams.

Sure, we might have to alter our perspective on the future, we might have to downsize our dreams just a tad……but it doesn’t mean we have to give up hope.

It does mean we may have to work together. It does mean we may have to let down our guards a little bit and rely on each other more. It does mean we may have to come up with entirely new and creative ideas in building a better future.

But then again…..perhaps all this coffee is making me go loony






Categories: Culture & Society

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34 replies

  1. I see the future as a bright blank canvas. One of my posts I wrote. We all know what we want to paint but are afraid to be wrong or paint something scary(media hypes). If we can all look into the same direction without prejudice there is a chance we start a better future today.

  2. Attitude is everything! Gratitude helps also to see the brighter things in our lives. I agree that the best is yet to come!

  3. Objectively, we live in the best times on earth. I mean, 150 years ago, nobody went out on the streets without being armed. All those gentleman’s canes were not carried to help them walk. As for the future, che sara, sara.

  4. I like your approach.We are living at a high standard but we get depressed by the bad side of life.If we can change things,good.If not,turn the mind elsewhere.Amuse someone,Do something for someone.Think small and it adds up.Just a smile can help someone…I know it.:)

  5. absolutely hits the nail on the head . . . this is what I see as well. . . why I started blogging in the first place. . . there are things we can do now, today (as well as things we need to give up) to insure a happy and enriched life experience.

    We live in fear of our own power . . . . I’m liking your blog (even when I disagree with you) . . 🙂

    • Blogging is an awesome way that we can begin making the world a better place because it’s an opportunity for us to begin a discussion that can grow…..and more important many of us would never have met without the tool of blogging

  6. If attitude creates self-fulfulling prohphecies than it stands to reason you would benefit more from a positive outlook. Sadly, most people don’t appreciate the correlation.

  7. Oh my gosh! A positive attitude? Hope for the future? Adjusting to the situation?! You are SUCH a subversive! Loony? Maybe. I like it. Need a refill?

  8. I believe the best is yet to come but first the worst of the worst must pass which means yes I also think things will get much worse before they get better. I think we are going to be pushed to the precipice before inching away from it. Social-economical conditions cannot remain what they are if history is any indicator. People will do what they have always done…they will rise in revolt against oppression. Those in power will attempt to cling to their power but mob mentality will prevail and unseat them…only after this happens will people be permitted to come together and work together toward a prosperous future inclusive to all…

  9. I agree. It’s all about our attitude. If we want our future to be a great one, then we should make up our minds that it will be. Our happiness, success and future is what we make it.

  10. I thought I was alone in this. I’ve come to the same conclusion but by a different route. Many things HAVE gotten better. Although racism still exists, I have definitely seen a significant decline in my lifetime. Although fundamentalism still exists, more and more Christians are becoming more open-minded. I think consciousness in general is on the rise.

  11. I got a kick out of your statement:

    –) They are succeeding because many of the countries they have come from are even worse off economically than the United States.

    I would say that the United States is better off economically than just about every country in the world. Even the poor in this country have cell phones, toilets, usually cars and shelter. Even the poor are free to do what they want to do.

    For immigrants, this is a paradise, and that’s one of the reasons first generation immigrants are often very successful.

  12. there was a great song in the 90’s with a black woman with a soulful voice that sang “And it’s all just a little bit of history repeating” we as a nation have been in this state before… many times. We as a nation have used the bad situation to create, change, and move forward and become better than before.. We’ll do it again. The only reason it looks bad now is because many people are “sheep” in their thinking. They believe the media, and follow it like a herd of sheep with a Shepard ~ unable to see around the “we’re doing it this way because it’s always been done this way” way of thinking. And then there’s the “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it” thought about approaches. Then something breaks (our economy this go round) and people are forced to stop doing what they’ve always been doing and try to fix it. Like I’ve said before. We’ve been here before and we’ll fix it this time and we’ll be here again in the future over something else.

  13. I am from a third world country and currently, we are experiencing war and political crisis. While I was reading this, it taught me on how to become more optimistic. Thanks for this wonderful post

  14. Thanks for uplifting my spirits.

  15. I often think that things in the past were much worse. The difference is that today we hear about everything within minutes of the event whereas in the past you didn’t know what was going on 20 miles down the road. When I’m at the cottage and I don’t turn on the radio I have no idea what’s going on in the world.

    • Valid points all. Only comment is I am not sure about good and bad times to be living as so much depends on an individuals situation. I am struck by how people within one ‘circle of trust’, to quote De Niro’s character in the film Meet the Parents, can be loving, rational people but behave appalingly to others. The planet has shrunk recently with new forms of transport bringing people into conflict. Were I a stoneage settler in some picturesque valley and people moved in upstream only to ablute in my drinking water my first thought would be to drive them away, that I was here first.. Interestingly our brains appear to have developed, not to evolve by competing in the animal kingdom, but to deal with (other) People

  16. I agree that reassessing our expectations is key when life changes. I don’t know if I can agree that life will be better in the future. If better means happier then I don’t know if we’ve succeeded from 30 to 50 years ago. On paper, life seems way better than decades ago, technologically speaking. At the same time the Earth has deteriorated, natural resources are becoming more scarce and getting by financially has become more difficult (for western civilization anyway).

    Yes there have always been wars but what does that say about mankind today. Even with the capability to live in peace and comfort we choose to continue fighting. If this will never end then what could it lead to?

    Our economic system that revolves around publicly traded corporations is a fraud. It always has been but only now is it becoming more difficult to sustain. Can the job situation get any worse? Maybe not in Detroit but why can’t what is happening in Detroit happen in other major cities one day.

    I’m not saying I think the world is for sure going to be worse off in the future but it’s definitely possible. Life is getting better in some developing countries so from a less selfish point of view one can say life is getting better. But ya, there’s not enough reason at this point to really have a doom and gloom attitude about the future.

  17. I have become pessimistic and cynical. Just released 1/4 families in south Florida with kids below poverty line. And they just cut food stamps funding. Employment, if possible -no pension, no sick leave, no health care, too few hours for income, no paid vacations and weekend work common $9 and hour take it or leave it. First world wealth and bottom of economic pyramid expanding. Dismissal effect global warming astonishing and the nuke reactor thing in Japan continues to whirl out of control and see no news coverage except if google specifically for such news. And a whole lot more…

  18. a positive attitude is huge. it’s contagious. the one thing is the value of an education is still high. as i continue to cover stories for the paper i work for, all i keep hearing about is workforce development. the workforce needs to be able to have the knowledge and background to be able to be hired. now does that mean that education has to be from a four-year school – no. but there does need to be either trade school or at least an AA. since it’s still an employers market, they are picking the best and to be able to be among the best you have to have the education. there are some jobs out there that an education isn’t needed but im not sure that would work for the majority of the workforce. as for being nutty – no way. more people need to think positively for positive change to happen. 🙂

    • ” no. but there does need to be either trade school or at least an AA. since it’s still an employers market, they are picking the best and to be able to be among the best you have to have the education”

      very true

  19. I like to keep up on watching TED Talks to see the positive movements going on in the world. Just look at the increasing awareness of the general public by way of the internet. People are learning how to understand what is going on in the world better than ever. Our world leaders are losing the ability to manipulate public opinion as well as they had in the past. The future has a lot of potential to be bright!

    And then if you throw down to the Bible, the Old Testament specifically, there is that cycle of corruption making way for humbleness, building back to corruption, returning to a humble place … it’s the balance of life.


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