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Four reasons to be an optimist, despite all the sadness in the world

Four reasons to be an optimist, despite all the sadness in the world

Sometimes, when you see the news, a feeling of powerlessness can take a hold of you. You don’t want to walk away from it, but at the same time, you want to remain optimistic – yet, not naïve. How do you keep the light inside you burning?

The world is not doing great, news anchors tell us every day. Many people are scared, feel powerless. Of course, we can close our eyes, stop reading the papers, stop watching the news and turn your back against the world. But shouldn’t it be possible to live spiritually and be up to date at the same time?

Four reasons to remain optimistic:

1.   Realise that the news is never the whole story

News media are focused on bad news and sure, that’s their job, but realise that in every report, many sides of the story are unexposed. Everywhere, there are peaceful, helpful, benevolent people and organisations who try to make the best of it. There is good too, and it’s everywhere. Even if, sometimes, it’s only visible to the inner eye.

2.   Crisis means development

The crises -the loss of certainty and safety, the environmental crisis, the food crisis, the energy crisis – stimulate our inner transformation. Many people ask Charles Eisenstein, speaker and writer with a focus on the transformation of this day and age, what they should do when times get tough. But according to Eisenstein, they should wonder what would be the most beautiful thing to do. That’s giving, he says.

3.   What you contribute to the whole, is your life

Everything is connected to everything, everything you do influences life as a whole. Your inner development is the most important contribution to the world: every little bit of goodness, beauty and truth you allow to blossom in your life, in your house, your family, your work, your circle of friends, is added to mankind, to the world. Focus on what’s here and now, right before your eyes, in your house. Do the work your hands find, feel everything there is to feel now.

4.   Fear has a function

Where does all this fear come from? There are several spiritual answers to that question. Perhaps all the suffering in the world is there to test us, make us stronger, purify us in the fire. Or perhaps it’s there to wake us up, make us more aware of our own behaviour, our thoughts and judgements and, in the end, the source of life that exceeds all of this.

Perhaps we can only strive for the good when we know the bad. ‘Fear is nothing more than the absence of love,’ the Indian philosopher Osho Rajneesh said. ‘Love is light, fear is dark. If you don’t want the dark, turn on the light. Everyone knows fear, but no one needs to dwell in it. Feel the pain behind the fear, and your fear transforms into love.’

Text: Lisette Thooft – Photo: Alex Vans Colina

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