You can’t have a happy life without hope

Every once in a while, I sit at my computer thinking of what to write.

I’m doing that right now, and as is often the case, I get the feeling that a lot of my columns are quite pessimistic, so I feel the need to set the record straight.

Even though there are a great multitude of issues that need to be addressed, dealt with, corrected and set right, there has to be a reason for more optimism.

I guess I can only bash the politicos so much, because they are not the only ones to blame for the situations we find ourselves in. We have to take just as much of the blame as them.

As I sat at my desk one morning, I looked outside at the park across the street. After a night with a bit of rain, the grass in the yard and the park was deep and extremely verdant, thick and lush; the sun breaking through the clouds brightened the whole scene.

All of a sudden, a sensation of pleasure came over me. Life is still full of promise.

So now I turn my focus around to reflect on what is so positive in my life, and hopefully reawaken the optimism that I often have.

Optimism is often birthed out of thankfulness; therefore, I take stock of what it is I can be thankful for: a beautiful wife, two adoring children and four great and rambunctious grandchildren who love their Opa and Oma. A comfortable home and large yard, a workshop I can tinker around in, and a healthy enough retirement to work in it.

We have friends who believe much the same as we do, to encourage us along the road we all have to travel.

With all that, I have more than enough reason to be optimistic; enough so that I can put up with a lot of the negative things that happen all around us, or even the garbage that will soon come back from the Philippines to haunt us.

Many times, I have heard comments about my passion for watching the news. People think it is so depressing, but what it does for me is make me all the more aware of how much I have to be thankful for — the beautiful country we live in, the many freedoms we still have, a world-class health-care system and much more.

It also keeps me in touch with what makes this world tick.

Even the fact that our youngest grandchild will soon be faced with a major surgery is not enough to dampen my optimism for a successful outcome.

Optimism: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. That’s according to the Oxford dictionary.

It seems to me that the same word keeps coming up: hope. Every time we discuss the positive experiences in life, hope is that one feeling in our lives that determines whether we are an optimist or a pessimist.

I, for one, could not envision a life without it.

It may seem strange to call hope a luxury, but if you do watch the news and observe the many countries that purposely drive their people out to reduce the demands for just the ability to live, you begin to realize that we are not only a very blessed country, but one with the freedom to hope and build a better future for ourselves.

We do not wake up each morning without hope of having a home or enough to eat, or even to be able to look forward to a brighter future, or any future at all.

Living the way we do, optimism should be our first and only outlook.

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

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