Do you consider yourself an optimistic person? How about hopeful? I always say I’m a pessimistic person who just needed to work harder to gain an optimistic perspective everyday. I always thought I needed to be optimistic in order to be happy. I thought the world needed more optimistic people in order to survive. I thought optimism was the hope we needed for a better world.
But hope is actually very different from optimism; hope is much deeper. Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses only shows us the outcome of a situation that is, not what it can be. Hope gives us the strength to see a situation as it is but still maintain drive to change it and the faith that it will. Optimism tends to be superficial and holds the risk of turning into pessimism when the circumstances change; it depends on feelings rather than actual reality. But hope is not based on the ephemerality of feelings; instead it is built on the firm ground of conviction.
Hope is inextinguishable. it’s unshakably stubborn in the best way and it doesn’t come from your head, it dwells in the pit of your gut. In times of despair, resignation and cynicism are easier responses than raw vulnerability in order to avoid bitter disappointment and shattering heartbreak. In other words, when hard times arise, it’s easier to turn feelings of optimism into pessimism than risk hope.
“To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass.”
All this time, I’ve been actively pursuing optimism thinking it was a key to happiness and a better world when in fact, I’ve just been using my mind to affect change rather than whole-hearted conviction.
So rather than seeking a temporary view with perpetually changing tints, aspire to be a hopeful person instead. We don’t need a better world full of optimistic people; we need hope-filled people for a better world.
DAY 17. Love, Ro