A Million Voices of Optimism
Professor Catherine Sanderson, Manwell Family Professor of Life Sciences, Amherst College told me:
My latest book "Why We Act" examines why good people so often stay silent in the face of bad behavior, so I've been reading/writing/thinking about why so many people stay silent - but also why some people step up and do the right thing, even when it's really hard.
And what keeps me optimistic and hopeful is that throughout history, there are people who absolutely do step up and show moral courage, even when those around them do not. We see this throughout history (e.g., people who risked their own lives hiding and saving Jewish people during the Holocaust) and we see this in the present day (e.g.,children who stand up to bullies, fraternity brothers who step up to stop sexual assault, whistleblowers who report unethical behavior in the workplace).
And these are the people who inspire me - the people I call "moral rebels".
Read More Optimists on their Optimism
"Compelling reasons for optimism seen throughout the world"
The Grand Island Independent (January 2020)
In part, the article states, "Longevity is also at an all-time high. For most of human history, life expectancy at birth was around 30. Today it is more than 70 worldwide, and in the developed parts of the world, more than 80. Increased life expectancy is tied in part to significant decreases in early deaths and injuries from car and plane crashes, infant mortality, workplace calamities, diseases, natural disasters, and lack of sanitation and safe drinking water.
"Despite the fact that the media is fixated on the widening wealth gap, global poverty is, in fact, in decline. Two centuries ago, 90 percent of the world’s population subsisted in extreme poverty. Today, the extreme poverty level has dropped below 10%."
"We have a good reason for technology optimism, but we also need a good dose of technology realism" said Antonia Gawel, Head of Innovation and Circular Economy, World Economic Forum (January 2019)
That's in line with the Centre for Optimism's belief that the times call for "realistic and infectiously optimistic leadership"
PFAS: "a shred of optimism"
In a Wired article entitled "Scientists Fight Back Against Toxic ‘Forever’ Chemicals" , Michele Cohen Marill, reports "here’s a shred of optimism: Some new technologies show promise in breaking those ultra-strong carbon-fluorine bonds, which means the compounds known as “forever” chemicals could be removed from at least some groundwater. “I have actually started to feel a little bit of hope,” says Chris Higgins, an environmental engineer at the Colorado School of Mines and a PFAS expert. “We’re getting some technologies that seem to be working.”
The most promising approach involves an electrical reaction that looks like lightning striking water. Contaminated water goes through a plasma reactor, where argon gas pushes the PFAS compounds to the surface. Electrodes above and below the surface generate plasma—a highly reactive gas made up of positive ions and free electrons—that interacts with the PFAS and breaks the carbon-fluorine bonds.
"evidence shows that the world is getting healthier year by year"
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet medical journal, relayed both optimistic and pessimistic perspectives in a 20717 talk sponsored by Stanford Medicine’s Office of the Dean and the Rambam Health Care Campus in Israel.
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 original article "Jewish Optimism"
Read more on Religion, Spirituality, Faith, Hope and Optimism
Read about Rambam
"Judaism must be said to be fundamentally optimistic"
Optimism and Pessimism by Joseph Jacobs and Emil G. Hirsch in The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906)
Religion, Spirituality and Optimism
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