Optimism needed when it comes to politics

Published 10:11 am Thursday, July 21, 2016

A little more than two years ago I was asked to speak to a local organization I had honestly never heard of but whose name — the Optimist Club — really resonated with me.

I’ve always felt I was a “glass half full” kinda guy and have tried to live my life that way. It was truly refreshing to meet a group of individuals who essentially had the same perspective on the world.

If there was any doubt I was among kindred spirits, those were erased as we ended the meeting by reciting The Optimist Creed.

I have shared it before, but I think it is especially relevant right now and merits repeating. So here it is:


Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.


I’m honored to say I’ve been a member of the Niles Noon Optimist Club pretty much ever since that first visit.

I look around the world today, and all the crazy things going on, and can’t help but think about how much better off we would be if everyone lived by these principles. One thing is for sure, social media sites like Facebook would be far more pleasant.

Now imagine if we could get our presidential candidates and big-time politicians to truly follow a creed like this.

Maybe that is too optimistic. We know that most cannot focus on that many talking points or commit to anything for longer than about a day and a half.

I wonder if we could get them to embrace a much shorter rule, you know, that one of the Golden variety that goes like this: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

I won’t hold my breath. I’m not sure even I’m that optimistic.

That just means it is up to the rest of us.


Michael Caldwell is the publisher of Leader Publications LLC. He can be reached at (269) 687-7700 or by email at mike.caldwell@leaderpub.com.