We all know how it feels to be optimistic – it feels good! Even better, is when we understand where it comes from, and why. My guest post is by Kay Stroud, media and legislatures Spokesperson for Christian Science in QLD, Australia. Thanks, Kay!
What a lift I received from Jane Fynes-Clinton’s piece in the Courier-Mail last week, “Bright Side is Only Way to Live”. I agree with Jane that looking on the bright side is definitely the better way to live, despite the pessimists and ‘realists’ finding no end to the ways in which they can pull down and sneer at every good act and every bright idea. “It can be difficult to swim against the tide of anger and gloom that seems to have a foothold”, she wrote.
Her article also talked about the reality of an ‘inner optimist voice’ and the fact that research has shown that ‘we are hardwired for optimism’. “Optimists tend to work longer, have higher earnings and save more. Their minds are more at ease, their stress levels lower, their physical health better and they tend to live longer. Who doesn’t want more of that?”
One definition of optimism is “a disposition or tendency to look on the more favourable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome.” A stance of optimism can be carried into every sphere of our lives.
Instead of arguing about whether we should be having religious or ethics classes in public schools, it’s pretty cool to realise that ethics are not something separate from spirituality or religion. Everyone wants children to be kind to others, and to be intelligent and successful – qualities of God, valued in every religion or secular society. Everyone really wants the same thing!
Gratitude that we have a democracy and educated, forward thinking politicians to work for us, defeats division, fear and demonization of our politicians. Heaven forbid we actually value our public servants, and even thank them for their commitment! After all, we all want the same thing – peace, success, equity, abundance (qualities of God) – and there are many ways to achieve them.
We all want the best possible health care, and are striving in the way we believe is best to enable this for our families. There are some failures but many successes in traditional medical care, as well as in complimentary and alternative medicines, including spiritual healthcare. I celebrate with others when they get better or have a successful operation. And I hope you will celebrate with me about the healings that are occurring with Christian Science treatment.
You love sport and I like the arts, but in each of them the attributes we really like are energy, strength, persistence, effortlessness, performance, ability, zeal, beauty, and so on – attributes of God. We really both like the same thing!
I understand that ‘thing’ to be God, infinite goodness. And there is one God, although at this stage in human history there are many ways of understanding God, and you may see it slightly differently.
The discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, understood the basis for optimism as being God’s goodness and our spiritual brotherhood and explained it this way in her primal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:
“One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”
Isn’t this exactly what we all want?
We all want the same thing!