How can I encourage optimism in my community?

Mason, We can come together for myriad reasons to face any obstacle. When a neighbor has a family member in the hospital, other neighbors can rotate providing meals and mowing the lawn. When a community has lost funding for health care, professionals can volunteer services at a free clinic, and parents and other citizens can lobby legislators as loudly as any special interest group. If drunk driving and other alcohol-related crimes are a problem, form a neighborhood, city, or county group of citizens to confront the problem.

Optimism is infectious. Just beginning with some small project can plant the seed to begin great things. The energy of optimism in your neighborhood will draw people out of their homes and stimulate everyone to become active in their community. Optimism reminds us that we are one human family and that separation is an illusion.

Every obstacle becomes an opportunity. Global warming and the meltdown of our planet is just the mirror of what has happened to the meltdown of our individual selves and our families. We can begin a new paradigm of community with collaborative optimism. These tough economic times offer an opportunity for us to literally or figuratively build front porches on our homes to invite others into our lives. If you can’t do that, use the town square, the city’s downtown, and parks as the front porch and hold meetings and activities there.

We are one human family sharing one common destiny. We are part of the same universe, and when hope makes an impact in one part of the world, the ripple is felt all over.