Word of the Week: Optimism

Benjamin Haas |

It’s hard to be optimistic right now. We live in a world full of uncertainty, fear, hurt, pain. I’ve all but stopped going on social media or turning on the news – it just feels like too much. And then I feel slightly ashamed to have simply put my head down to do the job I’m called to do, and not have shared my opinions and feelings on the state of our country. Everyone seems to be chiming in.

Then it hit me this past weekend…

Having a child is the greatest act of optimism. We have an opportunity, with a new generation, to shape the future. Children are a clean slate, to be molded by their curiosity, their experiences and the lessons we actively choose to teach them. As I think about the world my three boys are growing up in, I found my voice in all of this. What I say to them, what I’m teaching them, what I’m focused on with them, IS me doing my part. My three boys – my pride and joy – are going to be a direct reflection of Desiree and me and the world we want them to give back to as adults.

As Father’s Day approaches, I think of my role as Dad, the role my father played and still plays for me, and all the other lessons I learned from the many father figures in my life.  I think of the advice I am passing down, and how all of it rings louder today than ever.

  • Always be humble and kind
  • Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words
  • Find the small things that make you happy – and focus on that
  • Keep knocking until they open the door – don’t cut your dreams short
  • Family is forever
  • Chivalry isn’t dead. Open doors, pull out chairs - always be a gentleman
  • Be patient – but not lazy. There’s always work to do!
  • Every day is a good day
  • YOU set the tone – don’t wait for someone else to
  • When there isn’t a clear leader in the room, it’s now your job!
  • Make hay when the sun shines
  • Measure twice – you can only cut once
  • Everyone needs a tree stand – find your peace
  • Pursue justice - but simply, love
  • Listen first, speak last
  • Don’t make a big deal out of a little deal
  • Listen to your mother – she’s always right

None of us are perfect. And that’s ok. This list is idealistic and it’s probably true that none of us are being the best version of ourselves these days. Our resolve is being tested. There’s reason for fear and anxiety and the future looks cloudy at best. In some ways, this uncertainty is daunting. But pessimism and continued hate is a virus too. And for that, there is a vaccine, there is a fix, there is a solution.

It’s optimism.

Be an optimist with me. We will get through this; together!

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