Don’t give up


WE see in life what we want to see. If we search for evil we’ll find plenty of it.
But the opposite is also true. If we look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, we will see it.
Hope is described in the book The Science of Optimism And Hope as a conscious choice rather than a random feeling
Martin Seligman, Professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote that we all learn to feel either hopeful or helpless.
He said pessimists could be taught to have “skills of optimism”. People taught the skills were less prone to depression and there was evidence that optimism might delay the ageing process.
He also quoted studies that indicate the immune systems of pessimists function less well than those of optimists, that optimists have greater life expectancy than pessimists and people like optimists more than pessimists.
Optimistic HIV patients show slower immunity decline and symptom onset.
Prof Seligman and his team studied the “optimism levels” of US presidents and found 27 out of 29 winners of the presidential race were graded as more optimistic than their unsuccessful opponents.
HOPE is possibly different to optimism. Optimism can be shallow, naive, complacent and inherited.
Optimistic parents are more likely to have optimistic children. But faith, not something we are born with but can choose, is both vulnerable and trusting.
Those who hope can see something positive beyond the world’s suffering.
Helen Keller, the deaf, sightless mute who inspired the world, said: “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
It is practical to hope. We should, as Pearl Buck said, be able to accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.


10 thoughts on “Don’t give up

  1. I guess I will just throw this out there. 🙂

    I think the strong see hope as being a sign of weakness. There were not many “powerful” people that followed Jesus.


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