One of the best ideals about this country I live in is its undeterred spirit of optimism. When the world crashes around us, U.S. Americans seem to believe we can weather any obstacle, face every trial; we refuse to believe in failure. And yet, I worry that our estimable sunshine can blind us to the clouds on the horizon.

Remember the Arab Spring of 2011? Remember how quickly governments fell, first to protesters, then to rioters and lastly, to coups? I remember watching it unfold from my computer daily.

Remember 9/11? Remember watching the heart-shattering images on television, of survivors and victims, of police- and firemen? Remember the nation’s cry, “We will overcome”?

Thing is, there were very few people who expected 9/11 to happen, and nearly all were shocked when it did. Now, we see clouds again, and how many of us notice?

Yes, bad news sells better. However, when neutral news is bad, we may have a problem. I challenge you to look at the top trending stories on any news website and see what the biggest issue is. On global news sites, they cover so many stories that we can trust them to report what they’ve seen. And what they’ve seen should cause a little apprehension, at least.

I always think it’s advisable to reflect on my day and actions, to come to terms with where I succeeded, and where I fell short. Some days are more sobering than others. One of my favorite professors at University always told us that “…the work reflects the worldview.” I absolutely agree with him, and would like to encourage you, Reader, to define your worldview, so that you understand why and how you act and react. As times become more uncertain, it’s better to have these questions answered, and their implications understood. Here are the best three I can think of:

  1. Who are we/Where did we come from?
  2. What has gone wrong? Has anything gone wrong?
  3. How do we fix what has gone wrong? If we fix it, what will result?

If you can answer these three ideas for yourself, Reader, perhaps you will have better understanding into your actions and reactions in preparation for the future–whatever it may bring. Yes, there are lots of things going on, but it is better to understand myself and have a purpose, than to wake up one morning and realize the utter futility of my existence.

Continue to have compassion on others, and work for the benefit of those around you. Who knows but that through our goodwill, we can turn someone who is on the brink of despair to hope.


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