virgin islands scene

Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.
-- James Allen


Thursday, December 12, 1996


I am an optimist, unrepentant and militant.
After all, in order not to be a fool an optimist
must know how sad a place the world can be. It is
only the pessimist who finds this out anew every day.
               -- Peter Ustinov

People who remain focused on the positive are often accused of being unrealistic. This is a shallow logic.

Where there is hope, there is hope. That is to say that hope does not just occur, it is created by the hopeful. It is never unrealistic to be positive, because a positive outlook is ultimately self-fulfilling.

A hopeless situation changes, as soon as someone cares. As soon as someone believes they can make things better, there is hope.

Being positively focused is not unrealistic. It is, rather, a proactive approach to life. The pessimist looks for proof and justification of his pessimism. The optimist has no such requirement, because the optimist is not content to settle for things the way they are. Positive thinking acknowledges circumstance and reality without surrendering power to it. The optimist knows that reality can be changed for the better, and looks for possibilities to do so.

Able to see the positive aspect in any circumstance, the optimist begins the process of actually bringing it about.

Things are not always OK. In fact, they rarely are. Acknowledge the negative, then focus on the positive, and you’ll begin to make things better.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.