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What if any stories of optimism and hope have inspired you through the pandemic?

In the 2021 "What makes you Optimistic?" Survey, we asked "What if any stories of optimism and hope have inspired you through the pandemic?'

Here are the answers we collected.  This is a survey which most people completed in under 5 minutes - there are some inspiring answers and some reflecting the thoughts of the moment.  We are grateful for every minute people spent on this survey.

"I liked the story of Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi, who devotes most of his salary to educational purposes in rural Kenya and was voted Best Teacher in the world."

Read more about Peter Tabichi


"I am privileged to be involved with World Vision South Africa and we look after over 30,000 most vulnerable children. Our staff in those areas have continued to be of service to these children and communities against all the odds. They inspire me to be of more service to those we are blessed to serve."

"I’ve worked on a crisis phone line for the past 11 years and have heard many stories of heartache and how unfair the world is, but throughout the journey, there are also stories of hope and joy. While not every call is optimistic, many change through the call. Many calls start very pessimistic, but by talking issues through and letting people express their thoughts and feelings, by the end of some calls, there is a definite change in the persons tone and outlook. I’m not saying this happens all the time, but it happens often enough for me to say that people do change and are looking for better times ahead, even if they don’t realise it at the start of the call. The  most profound of these calls are when someone calls saying they want to end their life, and by the end of the call, we have been able to help them see they still have a reason for living."

"The Sikh volunteer network, the young man making meals for health care workers, the small cafe near home who served meals for free to international students."

"My neighbours sharing food, checking in on each other, supporting those in our community struggling the most."

People working on COVID Treatment

"The health army of doctors, nurses and paramedics, especially in India, where it is unbelievably challenging."

"The selflessness of frontline medical staff."

"Organizing and implementing the COVAX vaccination and national vaccination program in Timor-Leste."

Medical Science

"My heart glowed to read stories of individuals overseas who had battled, in induced comas and on life supportand being wheeled out of hospital. It reminded me of the true marvel that is modern medicine and the indomitable human spirit. Further, I am inspired by the rapid the development of vaccines within a year of the virus being identified in Wuhan province. Is there anything our astute scientists can’t do these days??!!  Inspiring, hopeful and cause for realistic optimism."

"All the stories of vaccines being researched all over the world followed by the release of many effective vaccines is a basis for great optimism. Despite vaccines previously taking years and for some diseases there are still no vaccine, 21-century mankind has been able to rally together to save many lives and provide an optimistic outlook for the future. I see a strong corollary between vaccines and climate change. The can-do attitude of mankind seems to have strengthened, bringing optimism and hope to the even greater climate-change challenge."

"The Speed of vaccine development."


"Sometimes failure can be a wonderful stroke of luck. You may think you know what your next step should be, but when you take it and fail, the lesson you learn ultimately ends up being what was standing between you and success. Leif Olson is a professional American golfer who won a BMW Z4 Roadster worth $ 51,650 at the RBC Canadian Open when he recorded a hole in one on the 15th hole at Glen Abbey Golf Course. It was a very bizarre hole in one. His ball landed past the hole, rolled down the slope towards the hole and deflected off another player’s ball which redirected it into the cup. In fact, this is what called stroke of luck. Optimism isn’t magical, it keeps us pointed in the direction of our goals in life. A negative, pessimistic attitude generally repels opportunity."

Watching Others Improve

"My clients getting results.  George cut back his overtime, avoided burnout, and is now focusing on fitness, friendships, and fun.  He’s writing and producing his play!  Vasu has found his sweet spot at work and is more focused than ever on the right stuff.  Larry improved his relationship with his boss, got promoted, then retired seven years earlier than he planned. Now he travels the country playing volleyball with friends and visiting with parents, children, grandchildren."

"Reading how people have been found ways of managing the loss of career and found new paths."

Personal Reflections

"Through daily meditation and spending time in nature, I have overcome fear and anxiety and come back home to myself."

"My twelve year old son completed grade 6 throughout the pandemic and the resilience he has gained during this time is awe-inspiring."

"The contact with long-time friends I have known through several chapters of my one, so we are instinctively candid and helpful with each other."

"I am writing a book about two optimistic people who used their life to work for others."

Movements, Community and Politics

"Climate movement by youth."

"Many examples of residents in my community and city doing good deeds and showing kindness to people in need. Earlier availability in the USA for a COVID-19 vaccine than originally forecasted provides hope that we are on a path of coming out of the pandemic. Rapidly increasing numbers of citizens uniting to take action against root causes of climate change and global warming. Election of Joe Biden as President and having a Democratic majority in Congress means that the USA is finally making progress on pressing issues confronting our country and the world."

"Having President Biden focus on the science of dealing with COVID and roll-out of vaccines to millions of people, and by letting us know that we can overcome this pandemic if we work together."

"President Biden’s ability to change his life long political inclinations in order to take decisive and needed actions in the pandemic (his change in economic policy and IP around vaccinations, for example). This shows me people are capable of becoming the change the world needs, at any age."

"Joe Biden. Vaccine development. Environmental awareness. Greta Thunberg."

"President Biden winning the 2020 election and his great work so far.'

"Biden and Harris"

"Twitter Democrats have proven to be a lifeline of hope. I highly praise the story of Stacey Abrams."

"The church and charity leaders I work with and their positivity in action helping others."

The Centre for Optimism's Work

"Centre for Optimism guests on Zoom chats, and virtual gatherings of people with similar interests. Plus, seeing people doing similar running training, challenges and sharing of their stories."

"Webcasts and Video Interviews on Optimism" 

"Victor, you are an inspiration, persistence when the outlook was black everywhere. People like you with a sunny disposition."


"Healings and miracles"

"Biblical stories"

"The stories of those who have gone through far worse and recalling how God has been faithful to me all these years and the support from the people in my circle."

"Hopeful stories of people overcoming difficulties...not just with covid, but with stories such as Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning....and God-incidences in my life."

"The Holy Bible."


"People going through their own journeys of learning how to enjoy being alone. Gratitude for hugs and contact and connection. Increased gratitude in general for what we do have."

"That when I create... U take a nothing and mix with my talent and Imagination... it becomes a something!"

"In the toilet paper panic buying, I read about people who had good supplies of Who Gives a Crap toilet paper who were leaving rolls on people’s cars. I followed someone on Instagram Anthony Shock who cooked meals for his elderly neighbour. The story about Sir Tom Moore walking in his yard to raise money for charity ... I am in Australia and two of these stories are from the UK "

This, too, will pass. Prayer for world peace and healing. Prayer for our leaders. Helping people in need is remaining connected not because one’s self is isolated but because many people in the community live in isolation. The reality that the pandemic has been a leveller for all - it’s impacted humanity. I used to see a lot of sparrows. I don’t anymore. I wonder what happened to them. Renovations of the heart.

Acts of genuine kindness and my rural community coming together. An example is a food share table set up outside our general store, e.g., sharing toilet paper when there was none. Offering to shop for an older person isolated.

The amazing medical successes with developing vaccines

No. I simply know that whatever difficulties I’m exposed to, I’ll manage to tackle them

People’s resilience to stay positive and stay focused on the current task at hand, be it personal or business-related.

The pandemic has not really worried me, but I do like hearing about people’s adaptability to create success out of a need.

.These moments too will pass. We are resilient and can and will adapt

"We are awakening and becoming more aware of the need to accept that living a better life is a standard we need to reach for everyone."

"British ex-Servicemen in the UK - Knighted for his efforts to raise money."

"Selfishly I focus on my Gratitude. The sun will rise again tomorrow."

Our neighbourhood has worked on uplifting neighbours and encouraging them, and looking out for each other. We have focused on the small, simple things and avoided the bigger issues on hand. Focus on small things.

the covid vaccines in such a small amount of time.

"Alternative media showing different stories and facts."

"People helping others."

While I was managing my own challenges through the pandemic as a result of disruption to my professional career, it was inspiring to see the resilience and optimism of the many many others who were facing significantly greater challenges as a result of the impact of lockdowns and uncertainty on their businesses, livelihood and families.

"Random acts of kindness.  A reason behind the pandemic.  Silver lining in difficult situations."

"How people have come together in my network to support each other through a difficult time - food, emotional support, financial support. The graciousness of people is what gives me hope."

"Some re-evaluation of life’s priorities."

"Just watching a world full of people react and respond to the challenges they have been faced with. We are humans, we can do it!"

"Balcony singing in Italy lockdown."

"The community arts organisations that spoke on panel as part of Centre of Optimism program. Facilitated I think by Corban Blair founder."

"The front line workers who put their lives at risk every day to keep us safe."

The way people have innovatively found a way of getting on with things

Seeing people band together during tough times

That this is a walk in the park compared to what’s coming

"Communities helping each other out.

"I and my family have been abundantly healthy through this pandemic and I get to see my son live his dream every Sunday while preaching."

We were in deep isolation for the most part of 2020. We, South Africans, supported and encouraged one another much more

Stories of people helping others and acknowledging that people matter

Simple, personal stories of the way people have gone the extra mile to help those in need.

Frontline Workers

Personal Testimonies

Our company works exclusively overseas as consultants so we have had no work. We have spent the time discovering other things we enjoy.

Stories of people adapting to a changing world

A local organic store was suffering. The owner of the lease was being intolerant to the decline of business and demanding rent. And members of the community dropped off gifts and donations to the couple running the store. The store still had to close, but the active action of supporting the people we value in our community and their appreciation and hope - it helped.

Hearing of churches who left their doors open so people could find solace in their sanctuary. Family members who reached out during times of struggle from other states and countries to send love and support.

how many people keep innovating and being resilient in order to overcome challenges

Businesses and Families did survive the hardship of the Pandemic across PNG and the world

Too many on the internet (not on the news though!)

The lockdown created the space for stillness where I have become closer to the Lord and through that the realisation and knowing in my knower - there is always hope. Hope is in the Lord and cannot be shaken no matter what is happening in the world.

So many people overcoming fear and starting their own business. Also other people starting family or having babies, acquiring new knowledge., moving to a new house between other cases of adaptation.

People helping each other.

The close “family” environment that I created for my team and me. My family and how we have managed to get through it all together. Love experienced my friends and family

My own ability to leave an abusive marriage and get my Master’s during the pandemic.

Man’s ability to improvise and adapt to changing environments

In my employment role finding a way with borders and care homes closed still being able to get the amazing Tovertafel to people to bring some fun and happiness to their world - even if for a moment. To hear the excitement and joy in carers voices that even though we couldn’t come in to homes to provide a demo, we could still get the Tovetafel to them for those in their care.

The spirit demonstrated by the front liners

I tried to understand what the situation was trying to teach us and what the lessons should be to take out.

After a very hard lockdown, Melbourne sprang back to recovery, and it felt close to normality again when we heard it was the complete opposite, unfortunately elsewhere. Makes us hopeful for them

People helping others when they need it most

Finding employment after being laid off during the pandemic when I was feeling hopeless.

Joining a network building system called the Connect Collaborative based on KLT, go-giver mentality and advocacy.

Stories of survival and determination to survive

Where in spite of everything we have found new ways of working that has opened a global platform to work opportunities due to the fact that businesses have realised that you do not have to be in the office or even in the same city/country to deliver meaningful value

Many people say to me they now have rediscovered their families and contact them more regularly

The courage and care shown by health care workers of all ilk, from the most humble to the most famous

Not to diminish the pain & hardship, but I think for many, it has forced us to slow down and reconnect with the simple pleasures like family time,

Federal Government

People helping others during difficult economic covid times

The way Australia has come through the pandemic with an economy that is strong

The people who have given time to help others

Those of purposeful business people

The unexpected multitude of supporting reactions on my bad experience in a hospital lately

the stories of community working together to find joy and meaning.. people power that rise above adversity

the committed work of carers and health workers for others

love of Nature

There are so many. I think it is right at the grass roots level - of people connecting with neighbours, putting bears in windows, spoonsvilles popping up everywhere.

Taiwan managed this pandemic very well that gives hope

During the height of the Melbourne (Australia) lockdown, the people were worried. But the Countries elected leaders came together, the officials did their job, and the people of Victoria, with the support of the people of Australia, always knew we as a society would all do it part and fix it. Unlike the situations other countries, States and Cities found themselves. Melbourne stayed optimistic and Australia stayed optimistic. While some in the media and politics tried to promote that the worst outcome was most likely, the majority could see that these ideas were for personal gain (more clicks, more sales, more votes) society held steadfast and optimistic that we would succeed.

The power of optimism is that it is also infectious and people want hope. As society believes less in omnipotent beings that control our fate, optimism can help society realise that our fate rests with us.

I have been interviewing people on my shows that tell stories of persons with disabilities and showing the way forward. The world works better when we can all participate.

Manningham Rotaract and Templestowe Rotary (Victoria) created a program called Connecting Manningham for the City of Manningham (NE Suburbs of Melbourne) to encourage community connection during lockdown and recovery.

Indigenous employment and training within the mining and resources sector.

lot; like Victor asking for the need of any help; like scottishladki (on twitter) arranging food for needy (and there are many more such stories; like an old man vacating his bed so that a young person can benefit.

The speed with which the world developed covid vaccines

Triumph of innovation and technological achievement in the development of highly effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

The kindness of strangers and people being more aware of the challenges faced by others.

Hard time tests our resilience and make us respect life and humanity. The whole world is fighting this COVID as one. We will bounce back better and stronger together.

Humanity existed, and it showcased why it’s important to human life when each of us looked into the well-being of others which generally not the case.

A multitude of people sharing their stories and reaching out to say hi, are you ok. If not can we chat?

My parents got together with neighbours, all pulling chairs out with a cuppa, every day since last March, at 1 pm for a chat and support.

The alignment of healthcare resources on a global scale

Seeing the Himalayas when the smog stopped

The amazing response across the Victorian Government to eradicate community spread of covid in Victoria

People fighting against intolerance, racism, bigotry, misogyny...

Historical context for the pandemic - we have seen worse as a civilisation and lost perspective through daily case counts and poor risk communication.

Smiling children - not a story but an inspiration and reminder of responsibility

Resilience and kindness of others

In the UK recently over 5,000 people stood in line for hours in the rain to get tested to see if they were a donor match for a little boy who had a rare form of cancer after a plea from his parents in the community. It is examples like this of selfless compassion and empathy that restore my faith and optimism in humanity and our society as a whole.

News of progress towards a vaccine.

The end of slavery in the US is a tribute to optimism. The abolition movement wasn’t a Federal initiative. It wasn’t a political move lent. It was a grass roots response to an abhorrent moral crisis. Normal people put their foot down and said “no more.” Over time more and more people joined the movement until it reached critical mass. We all know the eventual outcome of the grass roots movement.

Catching up with friends and others who required support.

the speed that a vaccine has been developed

Not stories as such but news of effective vaccines being developed and countries like the UK successfully vaccinating its population and seeing infections and deaths drop significantly.

"Remaining positive"

Hearing about acts of kindness, no matter how small

"None from what they tell you in the TV but what your kids tell about making progress in their job."

My own, feeling well again after going through sickness treatments and close depression

The creativity of people to find solutions to serve in different ways from our first responders to our teachers to our service industry.

Stories and actions of the elderly who have faced previous hardship and overcome, sharing their experiences

I am optimistic when I hear people are adjusting their lifestyle to be more focused on health.

Health workers getting on with it. Teachers persevering online. Parents home-schooling while juggling work.

University student kids who returned home for online final exams and smashed it while being reasonably happy

Positive comments on social media

A friend who has left an abusive relationship during the pandemic and looks so much younger and happier now she is coming out the other side.

that Victorians came out of lockdown together , we helped those that struggled, we checked in and ask for help when we needed it

On general what kept me optimistic is the daily contact with kids. Without their simple view on how to solve complex problems...I doubt that I could stayed optimistic

During this pandemic, we all came to the conclusion that Life is so valuable even money cannot buy. The increase need of vaccination and Oxygen has taught us the needs gifted by Nature

What got me through is being appreciative of what I had and that life could always be worse.

Resilience of my children having to deal with significant change to how they knew the world - and they didn’t miss a beat.

Brisbane Lions

Helping someone every day

Story I heard from Osho:

A farmer, one day was very angry with God. He said to God, “I have to tell it as it is — enough is enough! You don’t understand even the ABC of agriculture!

When the rains are needed, there are no rains; when the rains are not needed, you go on pouring them. What nonsense is this? If you don’t understand agriculture, you can ask me. I have devoted my whole life to it. Give me one chance: the coming season, let ME decide and see what happens.” It is an ancient story. In those days, people had such trust that they could talk directly to God, and their trust was such that the answer was bound to happen. God said, “Okay, this season you decide!”

So the farmer decided, and he was very happy. Whenever he wanted sun, there was sun. Whenever he wanted rain, there was rain. Whenever he wanted clouds, there were clouds. And he avoided all dangers. All the dangers that could become destructive to his crops; he simply rejected them — no strong winds, no possibility of any destruction to his crops. And his wheat started growing higher than anybody had ever seen; it was going above man’s height. And he was very happy. He thought, “Now I will show him!” And then the crop was cut, and he was very puzzled. There was no wheat at all — just empty husks with no wheat in them. What happened? Such big plants — plants big enough to have given wheat four times bigger than ordinary wheat — but there was no wheat at all. And suddenly he heard laughter from the clouds. God laughed, and he said, “Now what do you say?” The farmer said, “I am puzzled, because there was no possibility of destruction and all that was helpful was provided. And the plants were going so well, and the crop was so green and so beautiful! What happened to my wheat?” God said, “Because there was no danger — you avoided all dangers. It was impossible for the wheat to grow. It needs challenges.

humans have always survived

My own. I have built a company from scratch, 2 weeks before COVID happened, survived that to the point where my business can grow and looking after a newborn baby and no sleep

People are intrinsically good

I think that when human beings all work towards something together, it is amazing what we can achieve.

How friends have dealt with the loss of loved ones has been inspirational.


Karen Darke’s story is one of the sources of inspiration since 2018 and her phrase “WIBA”: Would not it be amazing? / Another one is Flying Broom Foundation’s Founder’s story / Another story of a young Turkish woman who grew up to be a teacher but never gave up on her dreams and became a world-class nautical engineer

Seeing my community support people in trouble or sickness.

The stories of front line workers working tirelessly to help all sick people.

Stories of communities galvanising together and helping vulnerable members of our community get through tough times. Stories that highlight the best of humanity, to rekindle our faith and offset a lot of the negativity that we hear through the news.

The Chief Medical Officers have inspired so many with their professional candour and with that moving the community through difficult restrictions with optimism for the future

the fact that my family are all safe and COVID free

two wolves

Discussing life after WWII with my mother

Capacity of community to accept the greater good

The kindness of others


The support of nurses and front line medical staff during the pandemic.

Seeing the pollution levels drop, and hearing the songs of birds during the middle of the pandemic throughout the city of Paris (as reported on television), where pollution would otherwise drown out these sounds with noise and smog. It suggests that we can fix the problems of the world if we make an effort to do so!

People helping strangers

My own really.

Ingenuity and innovation of people to re-orient their lives and businesses in support of others.

nil in Victoria

Major Tom, NHS Staff, a Covid related work project that good enhance the UK AND global

Dalai Lama

The resilience of people and the strength people have during adversity

Watching my family members stay on top of their mental health by supporting each other.

I loved seeing people in Italy singing to each other from their balconies. Stories of humans doing beautiful things for each other.

Frontline workers working in this pandemic

Humans in general always work a way out

listening to people helping others through covert

The friendly and caring attitude of friends and neighbours.

Making sure I remain covid free- which includes reading on coronavirus. I am a virologist by training and I want to be able to apply it to keep my family- my aging parents and be safe as much as possible.

Vaccine; sharing food and resource; government support for people; front line workers

Stories of people who beat COVID19 infection and stories about volunteers who were helping others

Friends in India are part of a hotline and have 95% success in sourcing oxygen and beds for people with COVID.

Recovering and Country and world from the Covid-19 Pandemic

Business people changing to suit the times. People doing different things which they will incorporate into their lives moving forward.

Elderly patients recovering and going home to loved ones, against all odds.

The power of local connection and cooperation

People coming together, realizing their need for each other. In NYC people have come out each night at 7pm to thank healthcare workers at shift change time.

"Watching a Street Clown"

"Seeing the vaccines be realized."

"If the rest of the world can make it, we can."

In 2020 when we were all stuck at home, our team put our hearts into building up our business, and this has paid off with positive growth this year and hopefully will be better.

Watching myself and others make the most of what they have and realising how precious those we love are.

This too shall pass.

It is not in our control, so take each day as it comes

Watching my teamwork to respond to calls from the community for help to use their networks to find hospital beds, replacement parts for broken equipment, etc.

Watching colleagues adapt to changing work conditions and find new and meaningful roles

Nurse and doctors , others getting out of their own way to help others

People fighting for their freedoms and right to decide what is best for them without govt intervention


human kindness

Our local cafe in Belmore Road Balwyn - Bin 3 Cafe and Cellars has not only fought for survival during the pandemic, but found ways of forming solidarity and collective efforts with other shops (some competitors) in order to protect everyone’s survival.

E.g. He allowed his patrons to order from neighbouring stores and consume in his shop if it meant everyone got a share of wallet from the consumer. This has now lead to all the shops promoting each other and restored a strong community spirit. Tom at Bin3 shows an exemplary selfless spirit. It was inspiring and taught me that doing good can be contagious.

Life is. Come what may. Life is.

"The generosity of people."

Overseas family health and wellness news

Stories of kindness, of people doing good for no reason whatsoever.

When the globe comes together to help - as is happening now with India. People smiling at each other. Good News on Instagram

The personal hardship and death that millions of people have gone through (and still going through) in other countries .

One of the accounts I follow on Twitter (Good News Network) regularly highlights positive individuals and projects that have used and view the pandemic as an opportunity despite the suffering of many.

Story of every health worker, nurse and doctor.

Too many to list here, but definitely how people took the opportunity to do all those things they never got around to doing. How people transitioned and changed and out of that new opportunities were born.

I have seen the community come together and people being so much more kind to each other through offering support and assistance.

Nick Vujcic No limbs No


The stories of people in America, doing what they can to keep their communities alive/healthy/happy during the pandemic

The singing on the balconies in Italy warmed my heart and lots of short stories of help others gave to those in great need.

Great industry. Resilient

Neighbours helping each other during the lockdown

Seeing others’ life journeys. It makes me understand that it’s never too late. It’s not over until it’s over.

The growth of digital subscriptions to quality newspapers that seek and tell the truth and so hold power to account

Kindness to others.

Sense of community

People questioning authority and mass hysteria


The story of Sara Blakely pursuing her goals and achieving it against all odds,

Seeing first-hand how out of even the most challenging situations comes positive things, in particular supportive relationships. I have seen people working in care homes move-in become a family for other staff and residents and the power of the human spirit and connection. When you look, there’s more good in the world.

Numerous historical figures who achieved despite difficult challenges.

The way in which our community came together to gather food, clothes and sanitary products for those who needed them.

Life achievements

Normal people, helping normal people.

Creating my own optimistic stories by making a difference in others life

Continue to focus on what you can control

Just a belief in the impermanency of the situation

People pitching in to help others

When I hear success stories of people who, with all odds made it. They did not give up.

The local stories.

The simple acts of kindness and humanity and care that were regularly evident in my local community.

The people who stepped up to assist all others stay safe, positive and connected.

The resilience of families, especially those with children at school, and the kindness people have shown each other.

stories of kindness, a growing level of awareness of how connected we are globally, and how we can solve anything if we let go of our entrenched positions

Recovery and reconnecting with family

The Govt response in general to keeping us safe, my business looking after its employees, Gratitude for what I have and my resilience to stress

That this is hopefully a once in a lifetime event and that I’ve got to spend time at home with my family

When I know that a business has prospered regardless the pandemic lookdown

Too many to single one out

Captain Sir Tom Moore

I find the growing disparity in power and wealth in Australia a very heavy burden. To alleviate I hang out with like-minded people on Twitter. It’s a great community.

How govt and scientists have been able to produce not one, but a number of vaccines for Covid in a record short time. When we have a common goal, we can achieve so much

The COVID-19 vaccine race.

Hearing how airline staff have transferred their skills to become Alcohol and Drug support workers. Listening to how people have overcome extreme adversity to forge successful careers.

Captain Tom Moore - 100 yr. old

The ability of lots of people to adapt to the circumstances

People supporting each other

Seeing communities coming together and supporting one another, watching younger people create solutions that help those in need, more people welcoming dogs into their lives (they are the best teachers)

So many!

Just how resilient people have been and currently are.

the pandemic has been great - no commute

the caring of people for strangers

The capacity of Australians to unite and endure lockdowns in order to protect our vulnerable citizens by suppressing the virus here.

Hard work of teachers day today supporting the most vulnerable

Reconnecting with family. Realising the small things in life are so important and to really let go of that feeling of having to keep relentlessly being better.

The coming together of people who share the same space, be it neighbours, colleagues, friends, family, even strangers, to help one another in small and big ways.

Being the father of three frontline health workers, their commitment to their occupation in helping others is inspiring.

Nature. You see distraction/ natural disasters but Nature bounces back. Being closer to Nature (gardening) is inspiring. To see tender shoots and sun shining on the leaves gives happiness/ strength


The increased and positive engagement with pets by many. The celebration and respect accorded to health care workers.

Prayers and conversations are blessings in time of uncertainty

My children’s outlook on life, my online yoga/Pilates class,


Jim Doty’s Into the Magic Shop and other books about overcoming adversity.

By slowing down the pace, people are now more relaxed and appreciate time and space.

We as an welfare organisation helping majority deserving people and give hope. Throughout this journey, many lives turn in to lights after darkness. Conclusion of the stories happened around me

The kindness and connectedness

So many

The stories of people checking in on older neighbours and ensuring they didn’t feel as if they were alone.

our ability to adapt...whatever challenges we are facing.

Getting in touch with people who ended in top schools

My daughter leaving her job to go travelling, then being taken back on furlough, then 2 more redundancies, and now in a fabulous, fixed-term contract. Possibilities, change career, kept on going

Over the past year+, there have been stories in the news that I have seen and read regarding people helping each other through difficult times (medical professionals, neighbours, family, friends, volunteers). I have found these stories inspiring and uplifting. Through such difficult times, it’s comforting to be reminded of the good in the world.

I spent 1 month in hospital with covid pneumonia. I am 63 years old. I have prior bad lungs and other complications. I survived, yet at one time I thought I wouldn’t make it. It was my 4 yr. old granddaughter who I did not want to disappoint by dying because we love each other so much. I willed myself to live and prayed to God always. My local GP on swing me after discharge said I was a miracle 3 times.

I am a member of an Optimist Club. Optimist International has more than 2,000 Optimist Clubs worldwide. One of our components is to bring a group of people together on a local level to support each other in positive change for their community. With the pandemic, our clubs could not meet. It was inspirational how we reached out to each other, outside of our local geography, for support during the pandemic. Our use of technology has made us more inclusive, and that is inspirational indeed.


too many to choose from


I’ve always prepared for the worse and hoped for the best

People getting back to basics and spending more quality time with family

Stories of people working to help others in this situation

People not giving up

Our heroes in hospitals, nurses, especially, have been an inspiration to me. They have been in the trenches with dying patients, yet they persevered.

You realise and learn to appreciate more of the things you you’ve taken for granted such as being able to go out and see people in person

The evidence that many people resisted the “fear pandemic” and understood that it was critical to keep living productive, unfettered lives in the face of hysterical political correctness.


Teaching stories. Plenty.

Many people have suffered during the pandemic, yet humans are remarkable in our capacity to respond, re-invent and leverage our resourcefulness to remain hope-filled.

Self-care and Mental health

Help and support me from my friends to that I can option my goal and aim


The fact that Taiwan would allow to enter their country because I was married to a Taiwanese, despite the fact Australia would not let my husband go there to see my frail parents.

Perspective and living in the moment with anan attitude of Gratitude.

The everyday stories, the everyday people I meet or talk to - like the local coffee shop or my friends in the US and UK doing their best and sharing the little everyday wins and moments. Every day people who are overcoming pain and grief. The real stuff. Their energy.

The world-wide collaborative

efforts to develop a vaccine for covid 19 and people in isolation singing and partying on their balconies.

My realization that if I am complacent, I am complicit. This can apply to any area of life.

The discovery of vaccines and their rollout to everyone

Simple acknowledgment of others. A smile helps.

The birth of my grandson

Always looking on the bright side of life!

My own - through the initial lockdowns and panic I stood back and looked for truths - continued to operate our business with a focus on what my community needed - my business has seen 1000% increase in sales

Getting the homeless off the streets into housing.

The way many business have reinvented themselves and literally spun on a “dime”

I think the general support provided to the country as a whole, has left me optimistic

The pandemic is just a blip and been shocked at how useless the human race have become at dealing with challenges

people, artists finding ways to connect even if thru Zoom; finding ways to carry on

Humble people achieving the rest has no meaning beyond self-aggrandizing

Just being alive and ‘healthy’ with my children during the pandemic was enough.

Values of social and intergenerational solidarity vs consumerism one-upmanship

How willing we as a city in crisis (Melbourne, Australia) were in complying to requests by our State Government. It felt that together we would get through. I believe we have a different relationship with each other now.

Front line workers caring for vulnerable Australians

Life in NZ, the ‘be kind’ mantra of government here,

My husband’s struggle to survive his heart transplant surgery during the pandemic. He lost his life due to a superbug he contracted in hospital. This outcome was definitely preventable and yet my husband’s determination, optimism, resilience, strength and courage remains front and centre of our minds.

Stories about people making things, learning, making art and keeping busy. Taking your mind off trouble

The pandemic has served to underline the importance of family and friends, and this has sustained me in troubled times. It is said that stories of optimism appear so few and far between compared to the doom and gloom surrounding this awful ‘reset’.

As a health care worker, I have seen deaths in my close circle- even after I knew that they are sick, but they died due to no availability of hospital beds. Now, this has changed as the system itself has realised how to tackle this overwhelming pandemic and we are winning. Most sick ones I have encountered after this has been surviving and they are my inspiration and positive stories. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

News of folks in worse situations than me

Amongst other things, I am a Rotarian, and the adaptation I have seen in so many Rotarians who have found new ways to meet and continue to do their service in the community has been truly inspiring, as it provides hope to so many people around the world.

Nothing external inspired hope. My sense of optimism came entirely from within and from my wife. We worked together to get through this crisis.

Stories of people coming closer together and also rediscovering Nature.

Building a business from the garage I was living in and meeting some amazing people over Zoom.

Nothing specific, just feedback and experiences of others and my own as well.

Any stories of people helping other people. Micro-moments of help.

In Australia, the way we have accepted short term restrictions on our way life in order to protect our fellow citizens

People helping one another

Those who recovered from covid

Many homes will never need to buy toilet paper until their children have children.

The general kindness of people.

People finding ways to keep going, to share what they have with others who have less, making time to make others laugh, losing everything but not getting lost.


Gathering, maintaining relationships/connections & creating in creative, innovating & adaptive ways

Health care workers enduring despite difficult situations.

It is true and has come true for many others as well when we speak about being inspired by others’ stories in this pandemic. I have seen how the young generation is extending help by volunteering in numerous and unimaginable activities after they had faced the sufferings. I believe that one’s experience can be a great causal factor for their act and the same way their stories can also help us feel the companionship in this pandemic.

It’s the little stories of the people around me. We might still be in the midst of a pandemic, but I see the little joys and victories my friends and family have despite all of this, and this motivates me to work towards a better future and to be more optimistic about what tomorrow may bring.

The hard work of doctors and nurses

That after vaccinating the elderly people there were less severe cases of elderly dying in hospitals with Corona.


The growing number of people resisting the dictates of government.

People describing constructive ways they’ve dealt with it, seeing more families walking together, globally scientists sharing data and solutions

My own experience with exercise. I am much fitter now than I was a year ago.

people discovering that their overworked lifestyle is unnecessary

I was a TV news reporter, and I left that career in the pandemic, so my consumption of media has drastically been reduced. I have focused more on stories within my circle - the people I care about the most. A friend of mine lost both her parents to COVID and watching her endure that tragedy and find peace during a time when she could not be physically close to many of the people she needed for comfort was extremely inspiring. She is not “better off” after losing her parents, but she has become stronger and has found new sources of joy, she did not have before.

People being conscious about people around and the environment that they are a part of. We have realized we are a part of society and are sailing in one ship whose safety is important to everyone. It’s not about one’s own safety anymore.

Captain Sir Tom Moore

Business owners being innovative and not giving up

Australia’s response

Numerous examples of people getting on with life in spite of COVID restrictions.


Neighbourhoods came back , family out together during lockdown

Stories of people helping each other

One of my stories has been published by Frankston Arts Centre. Launch is this Friday.

Together we can support each other, and it is important to think as a collective to beat the disease.

My daughters resilience through it in the face of all obstacles. She didn’t have a job, anyone she could visit, her father had left the state, her grandfather had just died, she couldn’t visit her grandmother or friends, and yet she managed to find the strength to get up every day and landscape the back yard to stay alive.

Stories of people looking out for each other. I particularly like The Kindness Pandemic Facebook page/group.

There is always a story here or there to keep us on

Communities helping each other Speed of collaboration e.g. vaccine development Global solidarity

Nothing in particular. Inspiration flows from the universal reality of humanity

No stories, just perspective. In Australia we were all very safe throughout the restrictions and my catchphrase was “no one is dropping bombs on my home so it’s all good”

Being part of the Fijian community who supported each other over the last year during very difficult times. . Watching overseas assistance arrive in Fiji and seeing the camaraderie between everyone as we celebrated global co-operation - I had tears in my eyes on a number of occasions watching Fijian and Australian troops rebuild schools etc after ongoing cyclones! The pandemic was not the only catastrophe to hit Fiji.

The positive everyday actions and experiences of the people I have interacted with.

The many examples of nurses and doctors around the world, as well as the way small businesses have adapted to survive.

I think the general narrative of getting through and seeing this an opportunity to take stock and rebuild both differently and better; more focus on work/life balance, less focus on work/money as the sole mediator of value.

the way Australians have embraced the need to be “compliant” to directions from Government and medical experts to control the spread of the virus, and the general optimistic wellbeing continually expressed through social and work-related interaction with like-minded people.

The things have been handled in Tasmania has put the community in an enviable position going forward relative to the rest of the world.

What I tell everyone, no one is shooting at us and no one is dropping bombs on us

Getting in touch with what is important, removal of distractions, keeping the home fires burning with family, the beauty of going SLOW!

The resurrection

Nelson Mandela Frontline workers

Progress on response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Finding a tribe of people who purely come together to lift, inspire and accept each other, exactly as we are.


People who have gone out on their own and achieved business success

People planting gardens and growing their own food; people writing the book or picking up the hobby they’d always wanted to indulge in; hearing about grassroots movements and others that are causing connection between people.

People coming together to support each other People realising that our previous status quo wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and making big changes Animals - any stories about the wonder of animals

Benjamin Zander’s Ted Talk


My mom was diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic in 2020. Her life was saved because the specialists made the decision to continue all surgeries. Their dedication, foresight and optimism allowed her to live. Even in a pandemic, people put other people first and first responders even more so.

The local hospitality industry that has found a way to adapt and re-emerge.

I have been a part of a leadership cohort that has shared inspirational personal stories and still meets virtually every Wednesday for have an hour to express what has inspired us and what we are grateful for

Most people follow the government advice and get on with live within whatever/whenever restricts are imposed by COVID-19

staying alive

Acts of kindness when lest expected

The stories of people living with dementia, our team who has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure our clients are well supported and my daughters for their incredible strength and resilience

people connecting up with each other and making time to experience life, not just pass through it

The way we have managed the health and economic challenges

Stories of people finding better ways to connect in real ways despite social distancing.

How workforce has transformed into remote working.

Where do is start.... being diagnosed with Breast cancer in March 2020, losing an important part of my income due to no International student boarders. Seemingly a horrible start to the year ! But I wasn’t pessimistic at all, and it turned into one of the most inspiring years of my life ( including a good health outcome ). Being active, doing things a different & new way, being able to contribute usefully during COVID challenges, learning new skills etc. One of the many new things I did in 2020 had 2 articles published about aspects

of my COVID/Lockdown experience. I’m taking the liberty of including a link to one of these (you can find the other on the same site)

Throughout human history that we have overcome each and every pandemics

Just seeking to get on with life, enjoying success and a continuing sense of fulfilment and achievement in doing what we do, being prepared to see the positive and opportunistic side of life

People accepting current state, but focusing on what they do have and that we will bounce back

People rallying behind small businesses to support them, acts of kindness such as people in the community offering to do shopping for the elderly, etc

It was amazing time to learn new things. Previously I had no time to do it.

Seeing how some friends have matured and developed as they have adapted to the present circumstances.

the fast discovery of vaccines, the move to regional areas

No particular story, but spending more time at work has enabled me to get more time for personal project and with my partner

Keeping healthy and maintaining contact with friend

I became a father during the pandemic. This changed my life perspective in 180 degrees, inspiring me to take care of everything that surrounds me (including me) and to work for a better future.

No particular story, but the demonstration of how resilient human beings can be, if we only try.

Various little things.

Mum is inspiring

Turning off main stream media and other idiots and seeing that some common sense is still left in the world

my own personal state of mind

The commitment of every individual Australian to embrace civic collectivism - to make individual sacrifices for the common good (such as lockdown, 5km limit, wearing masks).

Knowing that their individual behaviour will achieve a greater outcome for our community with reduced COVID community transmissions, less people getting sick and dying. And doing this not knowing who will benefit but deciding the greater good benefit is worthy of the behavioural change. An optimistic case study of the scale of behaviour change required to respond to climate change, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.


Stories of those that have “looked out” for each other

We wrote our own story!

I am inspired by the health care providers who are willing to endure the challenges presented during the pandemic to ensure their patients get the best possible care.

I have seen communities become more caring, polite and going the extra step to help when we are all crammed in together!

my mindset


Trusting science and seeing the results of working together for the greater good

People helping each other and getting to know your neighbours.

I follow a group caked the kindness pandemic where stories are shared all the time of optimism and positivity. I love this

refugee communities banding together to find new ways of providing peer and community support

All stories about people who lost their jobs however they reinvent themselves and start their own business : e-commerce , logistic services .

Seeing spin-outs and start-ups grow and develop despite the challenges of COVID. Progress doesn’t stop!


Local businesses looking after the elderly by providing free food and times they can come to collect groceries without having to deal with crowds. Also, I think the kids have had a particularly difficult and confusing time, but the pandemic shows how flexible and resilient people can be in times of crisis.

People seemed to be ready with hello when you were out doing your one hour of exercise

Seeing people step up and help one another

The goodness shown by people from all walks of life, through daily kindnesses, giving of support/time or donations and grit shown by those who lost all or most of what they called their previous life.

There are many stories of optimism.. Pandemic has brought families members together, their bonding increase, we started valuing the things that are really important in life. We have become strong, and we are hopeful we will emerge stronger from this crisis.

Whilst government doesn’t seem to have a vision or real strategy to make a difference, my friends and colleagues do - many have set up working groups of difference makers, and together we are driving change

Don’t recall at the moment

Almost all of us were affected due to pandemic and I know most of the people have contributed in some or other way.

In a period of extreme negatives, there have been many positive outcomes that we can take forward, both in our working and social lives.

Overseas (Italy?) people singing on their balconies. Community spirit here in Australia- people putting pictures of rainbows in their windows for children to spot on their walks. And then people putting teddies in their windows so you could go on a ‘bear hunt’ with your child

The dignity that so many people have been affected by this pandemic, and yet they get up, show up, and continue with a smile.

Humanity always bounces back ... throughout history, we have plenty of evidence for that.

People supporting each other, being vulnerable with each other, starting to make long-term changes about racial injustice and discrimination.

We have a wonderful Governor Ron DeSantis with good policies during the pandemic.

There are many horrific stories however many positive interlaced. Following strictly the guidelines (mask, sanitiser, hand washing) I can’t recall a time where I’ve felt healthier for so long.

Seeing people adapt and seeing the opportunities and learnings that people have made available to themselves.

People coming together to support one another, e.g. supporting people shielding in place or helping the local bar/restaurant and its employees to survive, virtual runs to support charities etc.

The work of scientists and care professions

I’ve been listening to the Simon Sinek Podcast - A bit of optimism. There are some amazing guests that he speaks to, and it really resonates with me. Quite a phenomenal podcast.

Nothing specific

Looking forward to seeing my parents again. We’re on different sides of the world, missing out on so much of grandkids lives. I know the day will come when we’re all together again - that gives me hope, and motivates me to keep my head down and get through the tail end of this pandemic with happy and healthy me and toddlers

How we have worked out how to treat Covid cases and how quickly and efficiently we have developed vaccines

Peoples still want to be best

All of the people coming forth & sharing their stories & coping mechanisms

The positive changes to our planet and the return of wildlife to areas where they had left. Stories of the medical staff working relentlessly for our communities, the deeper more authentic conversations had with people across the board

There are so many more positive psychology-based programs in schools as a result of the pandemic. As a society, our next generation will learn to understand and prioritise their mental health better than we ever did and we’ll finally see the change we’ve been wanting.

No Particular story. I feel that the pandemic was one big global test of character. Amazing things came out of it.

Stories from ancient times, real-life stories of people who have overcome difficulties, and stories from our parents’ past.

Stories of people facing up to challenges that life has thrown them, of renewing their views on common problems and pursuing change at the cost of comfort.

The invention of people to simply keep their business going and put food on their table despite lockdowns and the gloom of media and politicians.

During this pandemic, I got a chance to conduct “Mindset and wellbeing” workshops for underprivileged kids (teenagers) from Delhi, India. Each of their stories inspired me to the core. With all the difficulties they were facing in life, the uncertainty, the fears, the lack of resources, they still showed up to these sessions week after week with a hunger to learn and grow. It makes believe in the power of connection, even more. Once we reconnect with ourselves, believe we have all it takes, we can create our desired reality. I am so thankful to all those beautiful kids and also to those who gave me an opportunity to connect with them.

There are too many stories and people to name. I believe that you see what you seek, so I see an abundance of inspiration and motivation.

Cannot remember any right now


Stories of businesses pivoting

People just keeping going, hanging in there and somehow believing that things will work out in the end.

Victorians endurance to reach a common end, last years shared experience in lockdown all supporting one another

All stories of people connecting with people but really appreciating the simple things in life.


Growing up on a farm where your next-door neighbour was miles away, you simply had to be self-efficient. I feel stories if they come organically are a reminder, but it is my friends, supporters and fans that motivate me to keep on keeping on. Especially on my lows through the pandemic period.

Paul Holdengraber’s Quarantine Tapes (Podcast series)

Well, I’ve made an effort to be kind, thoughtful and optimistic in my day today. In addition, I’ve found that taking a moment to give someone a compliment has such a wonderful effect. My theory is that it has the opportunity to infuse that person with joy and that in turn inspires them to do the same for someone else. Even just smiling at people, thanking the person who makes your coffee at the cafe or delivers your packages...such simple gestures have a great impact.

I loved it when people could see beyond the pandemic rather than the doomsday everything is over.

Victoria’s efforts in hard lockdown


Seeing businesses reinvent and grab opportunities

My own Fireflies story, as well as simple joys of life, especially how they are enjoyed by my grandchildren. And a quote I have carried since childhood: “No evil lasts forever, nor indeed for very long.” Epicurus, 341–270 BC

Hope that a vaccine will help us move through the pandemic.

Humble masses holding their patience

Seeing friends, family and clients step up and shine in what was a challenging time. Observing others much worse off stay in Gratitude

The kindness pandemic is a page and movement that brings people together to share acts of kindness. It has definitely been a source of inspiration and comfort.

The people who faced adversity during the pandemic and did not miss a beat - either changing direction like the young chef who became an egg and vegetable farmer, or helping others lie the Sikh communities in many parts of Melbourne and the many different forms of ‘kindness to strangers’ that was shown throughout the pandemic.

Workplaces becoming gentler places

InfoXchange’s about to be launched Digital Transformation Hub, which we have supported, will support the for-purpose sector become digitally inclusive and even more effective through strategic use of digital technology.

Individuals or families coping despite being geographically separated from each other for extended periods due to the pandemic

There are so many stories in history that have not only given me a better perspective on the current time but also inspired me with examples of what a person can be in life.

Right before the pandemic, I had interviewed a musician named Robert Hood. Learning about his life changed my life, he’s a techno DJ from Detroit, tours the world playing music with his daughter. He lives in Alabama and is a preacher. Through the months preceding and following the interview, I was struck by the idea of what a person could be. Techno is traditionally considered a hedonistic environment, to see Robert Hood living as a man of faith, living a wholesome family life, being as authentic and grounded a person as I’ve encountered, was a profound inspiration to me. He has a philosophy which he lives, and in doing so, he emboldened me to do the same. Buckminster Fuller’s writing gives me optimism, he’s been a big inspiration to me. The ideas of Charles Sanders Pierce give me optimism. Also, the way that his ideas came to be influential is inspiring to me as a testament to the power of ideas, the power of thoughts written down to persist through time and change the world tremendously over the course of centuries. To me this is the meaning of life, to transmit ideas through actions like writing, speaking, and behaviour. The more we learn, the more sources we have to make novel connections, the more chances we have to get innovative ideas. Ideas are like a life form unto themselves, they persist for centuries and get passed from person to person. We have no ability to know how impactful we are because we are limited to what our senses perceive, but we know, for everyone who interacts with a social media post, exponentially more see it. Most people don’t tell us when we’ve put a thought into their head, but we know from experience how often thoughts we pick up from others can persist for months, years, a lifetime. Understanding this makes every interaction an opportunity. We are shaping our world and experience of life with our thoughts. If that isn’t a reason to be optimistic, I don’t know what is.

Collective singers across the world providing unity in communities

The ability of people separated from loved ones and family to make their way through circumstances out of their control

Pub Choir - people coming together to brighten our day, community forums on social media to look out for one another, people wanting to “do the right thing” for all

In all honesty, I loved your meditation and can still hear your voice whisper in my ear that “All shall be well.” I have witnessed how people have opened their hearts and lives to each other over and over. A simple chat, gesture of kindness sometimes has made all the difference.

My grandfather of 99 going through COVID infection and being annoyed that it delays his Physio treatment for his hip… keep life in your life!

Traditional leaders are willing to bring down the disease prevalence from 13% to a single digit!

The resilience of small business and their ability to pivot has been amazing.

My personal growth based in reflection, slowing down and being more appreciative for the blessings I have and enjoy. This makes me more committed to paying this forward and optimism is my vehicle of choice to do so.

Seeing the positives of the last fourteen months, such as saving money by not having to travel or commute, being able to do grocery shopping more efficiently.

Friends and family of course

Acts of Kindness shown by strangers. Even a simple smile makes a huge difference.

Seeing those less fortunate pulling through these rough and difficult times.

not remember

There is always light at the end of a tunnel

The relentless contribution of our healthcare workers.

The generosity of some to many

Captain Sir Tom Moore and his charity walk The Vaccine programme her in UK, second fastest in the world

People supporting each other

None come to mind but I’m always thankful for what I have

The ongoing clarification of what’s REALLY important gives me the sense that the pandemic is a hugely positive event (despite, of course) the many deaths and losses)

Assisting friends who were in need of help. They have now turned the corner, and are moving forward in a positive manner…

Generosity of people in difficult times

Many one is seeing that some children with disabilities have done better through remote learning

A shared belief that old work habits will not be returned to and that work will be more flexible. This was reaffirmed through the ability to bond more with my young children - an opportunity that wouldn’t have occurred in the old status quo of 9-5

Not much. I’m based in Melbourne. So it’s just been a process of allowing time to pass and managing my energy to do my best. It was very hard.

None. The pandemic has not affected me.

How people helped each other with food delivery. Rotary still working & helping people in need

That is the UK a Conservative capitalist government applied humanitarian socialist-inspired / led support to the economy.

neighbours looking out for each other

People showing kindness to others Neighbour organising outdoor Xmas gathering within the COVID guidelines. Playing Xmas music. Really lifted people’s spirits!

Holding Rotary meetings on Zoom actually improved attendance. More inclusive, esp. for those with physical difficulty attending meetings.


Our own; we’ve prevailed through every challenge so far.

Local community optimism

Keeping up

There are so many stories of optimism that it’s hard to choose only one. However, recently I came across a story of a young man who has been trying to pay off his debt he owes to the university. Because of the pandemic, queues outside the South African Department of Home Affairs offices are extremely long, and people wait for hours to be helped. This young man took the money he had and bought some plastic chairs, which he rents to people waiting in line in front of the Bellville office. He rents them by the hour or by the day and sanitizes each chair as soon as he gets it back from the user. A business across the road allows him to stack his chairs in their storage area and he can leave them there overnight. He has now created a roaring business, able to pay off his student loan, and be allowed to study further in the new semester. His optimism has inspired others to also find simple ways to make money.

I have had the opportunity to make global connections and learn how others are coping and staying positive.

Certain comments from conversations with random people I meet, help me stay on track when fear pulls me off course.

Stories of new thinking, adaptability and change for the better.

My own history inspires my future. I have made it this far - I will make it all the way on this track record.

My grandsons all have positive energy, and I enjoy talking with them.

I have had struggles, but others have fared a lot worse.

stories of success, and significant stories of Exceptional effort

Marriages growing strong, business giving and caring for their employees

Those resetting, making changes to their lifestyle to improve their quality of life. Stories of courage

Many of the businesses that have turned their hand to other things to survive

How people have changed the way they do things to support one another and celebrate one another’s success. Those organisations/leaders that have embraced the challenges of the pandemic to optimistically consider new possibilities of what and how they do things rather than a minimalistic approach to grasping the pandemic as an opportunity (“never waste a good crisis”) to downsize, cut costs etc

Australia dodged a bullet with COVID. I feel lucky daily.

My whole state saw the possible effect that the pandemic would have on our friends, family members and communities. We all worked together, made difficult choices and eventually eliminated the disease altogether. We now live (mostly) as we had before the pandemic, just looking forward to opening up the world again, once enough people have been vaccinated.


Government response last year and Australia’s relative covid experience compared to other countries

Seeing things getting better with the roll out of vaccines, looking forward to brighter days.

The resilience and positivism of the people who lead and work in community service organisations - broadly defined but including aged and disability care through to the local bakery finding a way to ensure the local community can eat good quality food.

My brother had to close his business after 30 years but shortly afterwards started a new one in a different format which is progressing successfully

During lockdown, we had our weekly ‘bin & bottle’ session where the neighbours took out their rubbish bins and a drink, and we each sat in our driveways and talked across the road and court. The connections made, just like bin and bottle sessions, remain ongoing, and these have led to new friends, support networks, sharing and signs of care.

Most of all it is such a small act that allows people to connect and feel a sense of belonging. I’m optimistic that others have done similar and that this connection and kindness between people will spread

So many people caring and giving.

Progress with vaccine

Gratitude for essential workers and neighbours and communities taking care of each other

can’t think of any

A local “keto” cafe transformed itself overnight to a retailer, grew it’s online presence and product advocacy while offering free daily meals to small groups of front line workers nominated by the local community on social media. ( They’ve grown during this time to serve UK and Ireland at a National level with home delivery

watching most people take care of each other and make efforts to be respectful (e.g. giving each other space, wearing masks)

Everyday life during lockdown

the collective effort and resilience of Victorians in 2020

The inventiveness of people to deal with difficult circumstances and put their communities ahead of themselves

Being back at the MCG with 50k+ people after Melbourne’s difficulties with the pandemic has shown me that we are a resilient community and are able to respond to anything that comes our way. We are a community that values health, compassion, science, continuous improvement....and sport!

The speed of vaccine development and the relatively rapid distribution in developed countries

The story of Australian willingness to manage our COVID risk through changing our lifestyles in ways that I had previously thought impossible.

Many about ordinary people stepping up to do their bit, from those in the medical profession to neighbours caring for the less fortunate.

Grace Tame, renewable energy, so many stories of care and love for each other during COVID times, individuals, communities and even some big business doing positive things about the environment about the environment, COVID is challenging us to do things better

Seeing people’s ability to adapt to change brought about by the Pandemic restrictions, with so much resilience and acceptance, has been inspiring. In particular, witnessing my 11 year old daughter and her friends quickly adjust to having to wear a mask without complaining has been a great lesson in true acceptance. The strength and intelligence of the younger generation during this difficult period fills me with optimism.

"Despite inept govt handling in the Australian State Victoria in particular and slow role out of vaccine life is enjoyable."

Reacquainting oneself with local community and our immediate environment

Several friends who have experienced loss and have found creative ways to redesign their lives in new ways, missing the loved one while finding new interests and pleasures.

Katalin Karikó‘a story of the invention of mRNA for vaccines

The sun continues to rise daily and people have largely done what was necessary to protect themselves and others

Despite the Murdoch Press and The Fed Govt’s relentless bullying and intimidation of Melbournians and the Andrews State Govt, how Melbournians stood together in solidarity to work through our extended lockdown. That 5million people cooperated for the greater good was a highlight for me.

My perspective does not change based on what’s happening around me

In the roller coaster of life there’s always ups and downs

too many to pick - basically any time the odds were stacked against someone or something, and yet an act of kindness or a scientific, technological or other breakthrough overcame the situation.

That people who were closed off began to look within for answers.

There’s no heroic or history-worthy events from me in this feedback. Rather small sensible and informed actions (driven by meaningful purpose) that work colleagues, friends and my partner have taken to do the right thing by themselves and others to get us through this pandemic.

That there is a god and he helps those individuals who help themselves. The failed states like India, Venezuela and parts of Africa are in the most overpopulated, corrupt and unlikely to organise themselves to fix the issues needed to avoid disaster.

Australia’s scientific approach to the virus and People who have taken a positive approach to the pandemic and observed health instructions

better efforts for the homeless, long-overdue changes to how women are treated and work towards better equity

"Our medical leaders."

"Families surviving the pandemic in countries like Vietnam."

For me, the pandemic has been somewhat of a reality TV show. I’ve watched from a safe distance with great interest (sometimes dismay) the immense dramatization used to create ‘the news’. I compare this with my real-world experience of significant care demonstrated by 99% of fellow Australians. I see people following guidelines and suggestions, the twinkle in people’s eyes atop their masks suggesting I’m still in here, the grin when you walk super wide to give someone extra space, the helping hand when people got stuck. All in all, as painful as it’s been for some, I think it has offered us all the opportunity to build up some necessary resilience - to know we can deal with a serious challenge and do it together. As an adult migrant, I have Gratitude every day for what Australia has offered my family. I also aim to give back every day. There will be future challenges, and if this is a warm-up, I’m optimistic we will work through it all too.

The stories of humanitarian efforts reaching out to help India

The data coming back from countries with broad deployment of vaccines show strong efficacy and safety. Deaths and hospitalisations in these countries have reduced, and life is returning to normal. I am optimistic that this will be the case in more countries as vaccines are distributed widely and more people are protected.

A young friend with brain cancer has had sporting success.

The story of my life

Stories of front line healthcare workers maintaining hope and realistic optimism in the face of suffering and loss.

US election result. Australian Premiers acting to protect their citizens.

On the contrary, people are unreasonable. Conspiracy theories, denial of the virus, anti-vaccination campaigns… IQs have really dropped sharply.


local community stories of kindness and connectedness

That we can listen to the science and protect ourselves - optimistic we can now do the same on Climate and Biodiversity decline

The fact that people can do without air travel.

The underlying Australian behaviour to do the right thing, and help others.

The incredible rate of vaccine development.

US elections .

The international scientific community coming together, collaboratively, to develop covid-19 vaccines in record time!

The natural resilience of humanity against the odds

People wearing face masks in public and on public transportation.

The poor people who don’t give up desperately trying to return to their home country despite the assault on their rights as citizens

"Joe Biden’s election."

The development of vaccines and the collaboration of people.

That all transport, Plans, boats and cars could be converted to ammonia green fuel in three years without having to change them.

So many wonderful people being unselfish.  Look at any university’s PR pages; Here’s one from mine being Monash:

Many stories of people helping others during lockdown. People’s willingness to support businesses that are under pressure.


Plenty of positivity notwithstanding the difficult times

1. Businesses accepting what the situation was, not complaining, not blaming but adapting

2. People putting their own fear aside and investing in helping others 3. People seeing the good in a ‘locked-down world, staying close, slowing down, remembering what is really important


Musicians playing at their windows all over the world

Always have many stories!

How we managed in Victoria to retain some sanity.

Being able to develop my staff

I am in an accountability group and to see all of our progress keeps me going. I also found a woman in Tuscany that pivoted her cooking school to on line. To see that she figured out a way to continue and make money, was inspirational. And my cooking has gotten better.!

How some people have embraced it and became better human beings because of it.

I lost 50 pounds

So many!! My children’s resilience, science and research and how caring for each other has become normalised

Melbourne collectively surviving the 113 day lockdown in 2020, Hoping for international borders to open someday soon so I can see my parents and they can meet their grandchild.

To many to relate

Most people have changed their thinking around change and adaptability

Making the world to a better place

People who have survived worse and are still positive. Knowing I’m not alone. Knowing I’m lucky in so many ways.

Stories of selflessness and the power of bold positive leadership

Stories of kindness

Christiana Figueres podcast: outrage and optimism

Optimism is just a decision you make. Pessimism is easy and we all have very good reasons to live in despair. There is an angel on my shoulder whose name is too rude to quote here, but at the right moments, she just whispers “Eff it” into my ear.

I see many other leaders with the same rude angels, so clearly there are enough to go around.

People doing acts of kindness for others - greater care and connection despite separation.

the sun will always rise and people keep on going - during the pandemic a real sense of community was evident - people leaned in to support each other

Generally the Gratitude and resilience I have witnessed and “doing what’s right” for the whole of community

Stories of people getting better after covid

The bringing together of families

Netflix movie “self-made”.

I did a lot of reading during the lockdowns, and read a lot of books about holocaust survivors. The Choice by Edith Eger and The Happiest Man On Earth- by Eddie Jaku were 2 books that gave me inspiration. Other stories of optimism and hope were day to day ways that people helped others during this time, such as cooking a meal for a friend and leaving it at their house. Seeing letters and notes in windows for passers-by.

Reading articles & hearing accounts of position climate action

What can be achieved when we all do things together

People finding their partner in life, connecting with amazing people or having babies during the pandemic.

Family reunion

Watching people adapt, support each other, the rise of local community

How business pivot and the help to front line people

Resilience of people specifically front line healthcare

no idea

health & wellbeing

Honest stories and people acknowledging that it’s ok not to be ok and heightened awareness of self-care

Learning to ignore the negative while embracing the factual stories.

That there are always people in a worst situation than your own and they are optimistic about the future

Some cases of new businesses starting

The amazing innovation I saw around me!!

The human race has always found ways and means to reinvent themselves after every tough moment in history - this pandemic is just another moment in history. We will come out stronger and better!

Talking to neighbours

Stories that highlight the good that people are doing and social connection stories.

People supporting one another like when the high rise flats were in lockdown in Flemington & North Melbourne- distributing food, sharing their stories, giving words of comfort.

Hearing about the personal and business wins of my clients , colleagues, friends and family . Seeing them reach goals and milestones . A particularly great win for a client saw them recognise their goal of securing work until the end of 2022 , that has certainly bolstered their levels of optimism. Little wins each day inspire optimism and hope .

Like to hear stories about people reconnecting to their values and finding joy in the simple things in life.

The increased focus on facts and truth rather than opinion has been inspirational. In addition getting out of the “Twittersphere” has been very valuable in driving personal optimism.


None I can think of

local community generosity

Community use of public space

The BLM, kill The Bill and Palestinian protests. They show people are still fighting for a better world.

The speed in which several vaccine have been produced

Every person on the planet has been affected in one way or another, regardless of if they “believe” in Covid-19 or not. I’ve seen so many people step up to help others, reflect on their own lives, take time to slow down and remember to look for the good things in life instead of focusing on the negative.

Many of the stories I hear from the patients, consumers and professionals that I meet through my Director role at Alfred Health.

Another person’s “story of optimism” is irrelevant because their story is not my story. The thing that convinced me of optimism through the pandemic was the overwhelming effort placed in dealing with it.

"Here in India, the situation is devastating, but I have seen the strongest people who lose so many things and people but still chose to live their life. Their stories inspired me a lot."

"All the stories that you share and many others that I hear about."

The people doing lovely local things for their neighbours or community

many stories of people helping people and being there for others in need, in everyday actions.

Other countries taking climate change seriously and hopefully at some point hitting Australia with a massive tariff for being so backwards. Opening new coal mines - seriously!

Seeing how kids have transcended the challenges that were placed in front of them, how they adapted to remote learning and rapid unknown change. How both my kids schools catered to their needs, beyond that of pathetic governments and bureaucrats stuck in politicizing the pandemic was truly community and real.

Stories of the community pulling together to help one another especially the elderly

The Kindness Pandemic posts, stories about how science and organisations have pulled together to collaborate and developed so many insights and solutions. And how all the work to date had added to this possibility.

.How our fabulous front line workers took care of us. Their jobs put them in the potential firing line of covid every day. Yet they worked tirelessly and selflessly to keep everyone safe and with a smile.

I am particularly inspired by those who have turned to creativity and have put out uplifting words, music and artwork into the work in response to the pandemic.

the increased connection between community - both real between neighbourhoods and virtual through connection (artists visual and performance, humour)

"Acts of kindness shown towards those further disadvantaged by the pandemic. Those that sought to help those that needed food and shelter."

"One extremely positive outcome is the renewed value of and investment in more green public spaces, more focus on walking and cycling instead of cars. Road being opened for pedestrians."

"My friends’ stories."

"Climate change front & centre. (Apart from Canberra), industry gets it!"

"Not too much the stories, but the people helping each other in need."

"Individual stories of achievement and resilience."

"People who have sought new professions or jobs (i.e. via training or “thinking outside the box”) - not letting themselves become stuck in what may have seemed a hopeless situation."

"The experience."

"I can't think of any inspiring stories.  I have survived situations worse than COVID-19."

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