December 17, 2012

Optimism for a good world

On Sunday, Optimist International posted this picture on its Facebook wall. It is the front page of a newsletter written in 1921 by the first executive secretary of the organization, Harry G. Hill, where he speaks of an Optimist Christmas. It says,
The pessimist says the worst is yet to come. The Optimist believes the best is sure to be. For over two thousand years pessimism has, with shouts of strife, through clouds of smoke and torrents of blood, tried to refute the hope of world-wide peace. For twenty centuries Optimists have, with unfaltering faith, repeated the words of the angel chorus, "Peace on Earth to Men of Good Will," and today pessimism is routed while Optimism, with hope and expectancy, looks for peace. When all men, all nations and all peoples have good will in their hearts, they will find peace in their stocking. We used to receive gifts with the message, "For a good boy." Perhaps peace will be given us this year labeled "For a good world." When we deserve it we will get it.

It's really not all that optimistic of a message, but it is hopeful. I haven't addressed the horrific killings that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last week. However this message from Optimist International, appearing at this time, made me reflect on how tenuous peace may be even in the most idyllic surroundings. Now, more than ever, in our grief for the parents, children, and community we realize how we must come together and work hard to construct "a good world" and be ever vigilant of those who have means to destroy it.

My heart and tears reach out to the Newtown community, but my hope and optimism reach out to you. Every one of you that have the ability to make a difference in our magnificent world, please do so today, and every day. Join a service club, volunteer in your community, and be aware of others around you who may be hurting for reasons unknown. Reach out to them and help them find what they need to find peace. Perhaps then, there will be less perpetrators and less victims.

Perhaps, in a good world, there will be less grief.

Photo courtesy of Optimist International. 
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