People often ask me why I am such an optimist. They ask how I can always remain positive about the world and the people in it. The truth is, I have to. I have encountered places and fields where I see the worst of what people do to others.
I see people hurting not only themselves but their children. I see pain, anger, hatred, indifference and death. I see parents who choose drugs and abusive partners over their children. I see children who are forever affected by the horrible events they have experienced.
Cynicism is easy in my job. It is simple to become hardened and callous about the things that we see and hear about. All around me are people who have given in to this cynicism, and I can’t blame them. After witnessing a certain number of negative things, the human mind naturally tends to think everyone acts that way.
I think, I don’t want that for myself. I have to actively seek the beauty in this world. I do everything I can to find something that takes my breath away each day.
Whether it is a moving quote, an amazingly beautiful photograph, a joke that makes me laugh till I cry, or a smile from a stranger, I find something each day. I confront cynicism where I find it and I do each and every thing in my power to help others to see the beauty in this universe. Because it is there. Beauty is all around us and we are so caught up in our pain that we don’t look for it.
And the truth is that we’re all in this together. Life beats down every person in a complicated and unique way. At some point everyone is hurt to the core by life, and I say, “Good.” Pain is a teacher.
As in the ubiquitous example of a child touching a hot object, pain teaches you what not to do. Embrace your pain and use it for good. Use your past pains to help others avoid the same pains. Use the pains you as examples for yourself. Don’t use your pain as an excuse to avoid life, an excuse to deny beauty, or an excuse to hate. Your pain isn’t the end, it is the beginning. With each little pain we experience, we can choose to let the pain close us off from the world or open us to it. Let it open you to the wonders of the world and the beauty all around you.
Let’s all think positive, we can make it—somehow, somewhere over the rainbow, beneath the pale moonlight. Oh yeah! 🙂