Embracing Optimism as the Roulette Wheel of Chance Spins
Hmmm, should I be a blissful optimist who takes unexpected blessings at face value â€“ or a cautious realist who reserves judgment until all the facts are in?
I find myself contemplating this question often these days. There is a little bit of both characters in my psyche. In times past, I took the cautious route â€“ doing my due diligence before I allowed myself to cross the road to where the blessing awaited. But lately Iâ€™m more inclined to go with the flow.
Case in point: Weâ€™re basking in spring weather here in the GTA well ahead of schedule. It seems too good to be true. Canadians are known for griping about the weather. But no one is complaining right now. Weâ€™ve had record-breaking high temperatures several times and we couldnâ€™t be more pleased.
There are, of course, more complex issues at play. Strange weather patterns like this point to undeniable climate change and the potentially dire consequences it can have. We havenâ€™t always treated our planet with the loving care it deserves. The environmental experts say we are running out of time to right the balance.
So I am a bit conflicted about how I should react to this balmy March weather. The cautious realist perched on my left shoulder, a bit put out at being disregarded of late, insists this early bloom of spring is nothing to be happy about. But the blissful optimist on my right shoulder counters that I should live in the moment and not go turning over rocks looking for trouble.
The results are in: Blissful Optimist - 1. Cautious Realist â€“ 0.
The shift in my thinking does have a rationale. Iâ€™ve come to realize that there always things to worry about. In this topsy-turvy world, I really have no idea what tomorrow may bring. Sometimes just dealing with what comes down the pike on any given day is about all I can handle. So Iâ€™ve come to the conclusion that I should go looking for the positive spin on life wherever possible.
It doesnâ€™t mean I ignore issues like climate change â€“ or other disquieting trends like the growing chasm between the rich and the poor or the economic volatility that seems to have become a fact of life. Those things make their presence known whether I turn over rocks looking for them or not. It is the unexpected blessings that each day brings that takes conscious effort to notice and appreciate.
So Iâ€™m going to revel in this implausible spring come early. Iâ€™ll take every day of it I can get and be grateful for it. Today I drove two hours to Presquâ€™ille Provincial Park for the Waterfowl Festival. The ducks were there in flocks of hundreds â€“ albeit hidden behind the fog for the first couple of hours. It did my soul a world of good to make the trip and see the wonder of migration unfolding without a hitch.
I have no doubt that days will come along when Iâ€™m beset by problems and canâ€™t find pleasure in such simple blessings. All the more reason to seize them when my heart is light and unburdened.
Life in the 21st century is a roulette wheel of chance. Every day is a new spin with equal odds of blessings or burdens. So I wonâ€™t question the blessings when they come. Sorry, cautious realist. Today is not your day. Tomorrow doesnâ€™t look good for you either.
~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of â€œUntil the Deep Water Stills â€“ An Internet-enhanced Novelâ€ â€“ double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michaelâ€™s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.comor the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.
~ Follow Michaelâ€™s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm regularly at this site. Categories: Shifting Winds, Sudden Light, Deep Dive, Songs of Nature, Random Acts of Metaphor. Originating at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2.
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