Tag Archives: optimism

Other springs

When we began this endless trek, I feared I saw a darkened door, Through which a line of marching sick Were heading for some winter shore. But now the news the doctor brings Seems to promise other springs. — Jane Yolen One year ago today, Jeff went into the local emergency room with sudden, acute …

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Estimating our limits

“How many ships didn’t sail because of the belief that the earth was flat? How much progress was impeded because man wasn’t supposed to breathe underwater, fly through the air, or venture into outer space? Historically, we’ve done a remarkably poor job of estimating our limits.” — Gary Keller Okay, so the skeptical cynic in …

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Pay attention

“Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer.” – W. H. Auden Auden captures a truth here that has always been evident to me, yet remains elusive in the ongoing rush of life.  When one is distractible or detail-oriented, …

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Hope is at the root

“Hope is at the root of all the great ideas and causes that have bettered the lot of humankind across the centuries.” — Ronald Reagan Touring the beautiful grounds of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, it isn’t hard to understand why he was such an optimist.  There’s something about California that always …

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A light from within

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross I love stained glass, from tiny sun-catchers hanging in kitchen windows, to magnificent soaring panels in cathedrals.   Whenever I see …

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Brilliantly disguised

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations…” — Charles Swindoll I will always remember the first time I saw this quote.  It was fairly recently, in an email I got from an extraordinary person, Dr. Anitha John. She specializes in adult congenital cardiology, a relatively new field …

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Rejoicing that I’m still here

“Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I wake up every morning rejoicing that I’m still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better.”  — Oprah Winfrey A long life is a decidedly mixed blessing.  Those of us who make it to our eighth and ninth decades will do …

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Daylight in the mind

“Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” —  Joseph Addison Have you ever had one of those days when you felt angry at the world?  Maybe even for no particular reason?  It’s awful to be caught in that cycle of negativity that seems …

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More than logical

“If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope…” — Jacques Yves Cousteau I’m a great fan of logic.  My highest scores on the GRE and other standardized tests were always in the “analytical thinking” category.  …

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Built in hope

“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.”  — Marian Zimmer Bradley I love the book Life of Pi, especially the ending where Pi asks the skeptics a valid but often overlooked question: which is the better story? There …

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Start again

The birds they sang at the break of day Start again I heard them say — Leonard Cohen I can’t recall a single time when hearing the birds singing did not lift my spirits. Sometimes they sound cheerful and perky, sometimes insistent, almost alarmed, but they never sound depressing. Birdsong goes perfectly with the other …

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A Little Nonsense

“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” — Joseph Addison Happy April Fool’s Day! Laughter is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves or others.  I hope you will indulge in some light-hearted fun today — look up a joke or two to share, sing silly songs, watch a …

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One of the great helps

“One of the great helps to success is to be cheerful; to go to work with a full sense of life; to be determined to put hindrances out of the way; to prevail over them and to get the mastery. Above all things else, be cheerful; there is no beatitude for the despairing.” —  Amelia …

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Teach your moods

“Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes…This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That …

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Try adding some bright

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors…” — Allen Klein I appreciate people who take the time to add color to everyday life.  Some people plant bright annuals that bloom in spring and …

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Within our reach

“The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!” — Attributed to Fra Giovanni Giocondo This blog gives me an excuse to spend time reading from the wealth of inspiring, encouraging and remarkable writings that have accumulated over centuries.  Much of what I read — …

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Travel the back roads

“To read the papers and to listen to the news… one would think the country is in terrible trouble. You do not get that impression when you travel the back roads and the small towns do care about their country and wish it well.” — Charles Kuralt Recently I’ve had to sharply curtail my exposure …

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Hope I cannot measure

“Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen; Bright skies will soon be o’er me, where the dark clouds have been. My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free, My Savior has my treasure, and He will walk with me.” — Anna Laetitia Waring On a recent Sunday at …

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Like fragments of heaven

“It is strange how deeply colours seem to penetrate one, like scent…They look like fragments of heaven.” – George Eliot I’ve always marveled at how some scents can bypass the conscious mind and go straight to memories we didn’t even know were there. Until I read this quote (from one of my all-time most admired …

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Wonders of everyday life

“Remember, looking at bad news doesn’t mean good news isn’t happening. It’s happening everywhere. It’s happening right now. Around the world. In hospitals, at weddings, in schools and offices and maternity wards, at airport arrival gates, in bedrooms, in inboxes, out in the street, in the kind smile of a stranger. A billion unseen wonders …

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A powerful call

“…we’ve found that optimism can be a powerful call to action. And it has a multiplier effect: The more optimists there are working for a better future, the more reasons there are to be optimistic.” – Bill and Melinda Gates One of the most pernicious aspects of despair is that it snuffs out the motivation …

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Like a million suns

Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,  and calls me on and on across the universe…     — John Lennon & Paul McCartney Recently while I was driving to York County, I began getting sleepy as I almost always do when I make long drives alone. The coffee I brought along …

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Singularly moved

I, singularly moved To love the lovely that are not beloved, Of all the seasons most Love winter. – Coventry Patmore If you read the comments section, you may recall that I mentioned this verse to Marlene when she said she loved winter. This is the post I told her I would write for her. …

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We’re a parade

“Friends: we’re a parade – even by ourselves!” – Mary Anne Radmacher Pictured above are three people whose presence in my life is a tremendous blessing. Without going into the details, let’s just say that without friends and loved ones, life is unbearable. But with them, it can be a celebration, even in the midst …

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My sentiments

Besides the Autumn poets sing A few prosaic days A little this side of the snow And that side of the Haze — . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Perhaps a squirrel may remain — My sentiments to share — Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny …

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