I do whatever I can to take an optimistic view of the world. I try to focus on the good that's happening. I try to see possibility when others see stagnation and despair. I believe that to some extent we can all choose the stories we want to see play out before our eyes in life. And I choose a story of growth, evolution, and kindness. I think that if I can do that maybe I can help others do the same. That gives me a sense of purpose.
But every now and then, I pause.
Optimism and positivity are powerful and positive forces in my life. I don't know what I'd do without that perspective. But more and more, I wonder if I use them to avoid, deflect, and repress sadness.
I feel sad at how much pain exists in the world. When I really tune in, I can feel it all around me. People hoping for a better life and waiting and waiting and waiting. Polar bears getting thinner and thinner aas they drift out to sea. People of color coping with yet another senseless killing as many around them pretend there isn't a problem. Cultures slowly being erased, swept up into the reckless momentum of “progress.” Knowing that my own way of being in some ways creates and reinforces all that pain and sadness.
Some days, I worry that as I keep compiling all the good news and speaking to possibility through Kindling, it will appear that I don't see this pain, feel this sadness. I worry that in my persistence to see and focus on untapped potential, I won't let myself feel the sadness of all the possibility that never gets fulfilled.
I feel it. I know it will never go away, because most possibility never comes to fruition.