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Optimism and Hope: The Wisdom

Janine Kirk

"Without faith we have nothing, without hope there is nothing and without love we are nothing.  Optimistic leaders create the conditions where faith, hope and love can thrive."

Jared Mellinger

"The Bible promotes optimism, but it is a certain kind of optimism. It is not the secular optimism of positive thinking or the natural optimism of a laid-back personality, but the godly optimism of Christian hope. True hope endures in the darkness"

Karen Stanford, Teacher

"Being an optimist I am lucky enough to see hope everywhere. Inspiring people following their dreams, people being kind to each other & as a teacher, the children give me reason to be optimistic every day"

Konyka Dunson

“Knowing that my soul is tied to the unfathomable loving force of God, which causes the sun to rise gives me hope.  No matter what happens, the sun rises each new day, and my soul rises with it. That knowledge gives me optimism that never ends."

Julie Ann Sullivan

"Optimism is directly connected to hope. Hope allows me to know that in the next day, or hour or even a minute, the world around me can change in a positive way. And because I am an optimist, I am in control of how I see the world."

Billy Graham, Evangelist

"I am an optimist not because I blindly hope - all evidence to the contrary - that somehow everything will work out all right. Nor am I an optimist because I believe in man's unlimited ability to solve his problems. I am an optimist ultimately because I believe in God."

Dr Adam Kassam, Chief Resident Physician, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Western University, Canada

"Optimism is the positive distillation of hope. Given the current challenges we face as a global society, optimism will be a vital tool for creative problem solving for current and future generations."

LaMonique Hamilton Barnes, Writer

"I believe what God says about me, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and He has plans for my prosperity, hope and future. I have no choice but to be optimistic, because I know this life is rigged in my favor!"

Riva Levinson

“Optimism comes from hope, which is sustained by faith, and drawn from a belief in God’s Plan"

Colonel Matthew T. Fritz

"I believe that optimism is born of hope: without either, there is no opportunity.  Great leaders paint stories of hope, which sparks optimism in their teams to accomplish their mission and reach higher goals."

Bojosi Gamontle

"Optimism is hope made alive. It is a decision to exist above negativity and despair. Optimism elevates your imagination to a realm of possibilities. It is in this realm that creativity and motivation bloom, and success becomes a reality"

Victoria Cope

"Optimism to me is the essence of hope. It’s seeing opportunities rather than challenges, visualising a path to success and striving to achieve your full potential. Optimism provides the lens and focus we need, to be our best self every day."

Warren Davies, The Unbreakable Farmer

“Without optimism hope is diminished, the future becomes clouded.  No matter the darkness of the days, optimism sheds light on the path leading forward  to a brighter future."

Renee Branson, Author

"Optimism, to me, is the belief that the current challenge is neither permanent or pervasive. Optimism does not require me to be cheerful or chipper but it invites me to be hopeful.  The most powerful optimism I have felt and witnessed has been through aching tears and white knuckles. Hope and optimism are strong enough to sit with us in our dark places.”

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran

Contrary to the cynic and pessimist, the optimist has the truer perspective on Judaism. The “glass half full” shows us the power of that period from Rosh Chodesh Elul through the conclusion of the Days of Awe, Shmini Atzeret. When we open up our siddurim, we discover the most optimistic of all Psalms, selected specifically for this awesome period – Psalm 27. The Midrash teaches that the words L’Dovid HaShem Ori, the Lord is my life, refer to Rosh Hashanah while v’yishi, and aid, reflects on Yom Kippur. Ki yitzpeneni b’suko, He will hide me within His tabernacle, speaks of Sukkot.

A quick glance through the psalm is enough to find all the words that conjure up hope, optimism, happiness and strength. Begin with the first posuk and go through the chapter: light, aid, stronghold, not fear, confident, desire, dwell in the house of the Lord, pleasantness, shelter, safe, high, sing, chant, gracious, seek you My presence, help, care, teach, guide, land of the living, hope, strong, brave.

Fourteen short verses. Twenty – four optimistic words and phrases.

See "Jewish Optimism"

Chris Drake, The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust

As Alexander Pope put it: "Hope springs eternal in the human breast" and if we shut down hope, optimism and trust in goodness we are shutting down an inherent part of what it means to be a human being, i.e. to envision and then move towards a better tomorrow, with head, heart and hands. Having built our castle in the sky we do then have to lay its foundations on the ground in the muddy realities of today but not to aim for it is to condemn ourselves to it never happening.

“This is not to advocate a blind and naive expectation that there will not be setbacks, difficulties and failures or that we should ignore the benefit, prudence and necessity of precaution, planning, a fallback plan B and sometimes some healthy cynicism but. learning as we go along, we must look ahead with a smile, positivity and confidence if we are to have any chance of building the future we want. We might make it and we not make it, but if we don't try we surely won't.

“Pessimism closes the heart and soul, blinkers the eyes and lowers the head. It shuts off dreams and limits the horizon of possibilities. Optimism opens the heart, lightens up and lifts the spirit, boosts morale and stretches our vision to new realms, forging a bridge from an envisaged future, to which our heart soars, back to the present where we can work to make it happen.”

Tammy Rendina, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University

"Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist.  It is the hope that they won’t last forever.  That hurts will be healed, difficulties will be overcome and confusion will bring clarity.  Learning exemplifies hope, hope for new knowledge, hope for new skills and hope for an exciting future."

Alice Sidhu

“Optimism = Hope.  What is there to be hopeful or optimistic about? The fact that we are even thinking about having this conversation. That we can have it freely and openly. That our views are solicited, considered; they don't necessarily have to be embraced or accepted. It's the engagement and dialogue that matters.     And more than this? There is constant talk of change and the impact of this on skills, people and organisations......Is our perspective one of challenge or opportunity? Technology can help problems we have been trying to address for so long in health, education and the environment. Recent examples of emergency response in Puerto Rico have helped expedite recovery.  Industries are being transformed and it is all being defined with a UX focus.  It's coming quickly and can seem overwhelming. We can focus on that or we can think about new ways to learn, access information, develop new skills and deliver and consume services. A little scary, but if it wasn't we wouldn't be trying hard enough.”

Dr Tammra Warby,  Author, “The General Practice Exam Handbook.”

“Optimism to me turns a complete roadblock into a temporary setback.  My case for optimism is that as a living expression of hope for the future, it will pull you through the toughest times of your life.  Many times in healthcare and through natural disasters, I have witnessed how optimists respond to the worst thing that has ever happened to them.  It is a deeply inspiring and admirable quality to view in action. 

“Optimists firstly accept the reality of the situation and immediately begin workshopping the problem to solve it. They always ask, ‘What’s next?’.  Despite how hard it is to practise gratitude through pain, they remain appreciative of all that is still good in their life.  Whether facing devastation or illness, the optimist is already planning their adaptation or recovery. In the midst of the darkest times, they still bring their humour to the situation and find the lighter side. And they don’t give up, emerging from the other end as proof their hope was warranted.”

Dr Paul Cooper, Professor of Health Informatics

“Optimism must be based in your sense of what can best how people and organisations grow. Unbridled, unprincipled optimism is of no use to anyone if, like lemmings, it takes us over a cliff or doesn't lead to growth.  A wonderful friend and mentor of mine Thomas Stianos told me years ago that the function of a leader is to provide hope for the future.   These days I modify that quote a bit - to me the function of leadership is to ensure an abundance of opportunity for people.  It's not enough to give hope, or have hope (unbridled optimism) - you must create the abundance that creates the opportunities for growth.  This is hard work especially when things become tough (as they always will at some point).  Fortunately, "abundance thinking" encourages people to share, and to give of their own energies and this is turn creates optimism.  So breaking all this down, I think you need to first create opportunities for growth, people need to see that, believe in it, and then you can build the abundance.  Optimism then flows from that.”


"What makes me optimistic? Hopefulness lives within us and speaks softly during quiet moments. If we look to others to find it, we’ll be taken on a different path.”

Betty Carlton

"Those who know Jesus are the most optimistic people on earth. Optimism comes of hope and Jesus is our hope."

Jon Meacham in "The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels" 

"Fear feeds anxiety and produces anger; hope, particularly in a political sense, breeds optimism and feelings of well-being. Fear is about limits; hope is about growth. Fear casts its eyes warily, even shiftily, across the landscape; hope looks forward, toward the horizon. Fear points at others, assigning blame; hope points ahead, working for a common good. Fear pushes away; hope pulls others closer. Fear divides; hope unifies."


“My optimism is driven by my belief in HOPE which to me is being High On Personal Energy & the reality of life being that no pain ever lasts forever some just take a bit longer to go away."

Belmont University President Dr. Gregory Jones

"As a person of faith, I am called to hope, and hope is very different from optimism. Optimism is rooted in who we are as people; hope is rooted in who God is. The Christian virtue of hope combines and holds in tension a pessimist’s clear-eyed assessment of the brokenness of our lives and our world with an optimist’s desire for a better, brighter future."

Joy Oladokun

Optimism and hope can be a really great tether, especially in the troubling times we’ve lived through and  it’s not necessarily about putting a positive outcome on this future thing, but more ‘I can do something with the little good I have."

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