Tim’s shortest post ever

I’m an optimist, and an idealist.  I have big dreams, and I tend to see the best in people and find good in all circumstances, but sometimes it’s hard to keep it up in the face of reality.  I’ve laid in bed awake for a while these past few nights just thinking about my world versus the “real” world, feeling like the former is giving way to one that isn’t so bright and hopeful.  It’s kind of sad, but maybe it’s just a part of growing up.  Sometimes I feel like it would be best just to let the happy, shiny world go and accept the flawed and broken one that surrounds me, like acknowledging it would help me to move on and face bigger issues.  Like in all subjects of study, there comes a point where you need to let go of the naive, simplistic rules you learned about in the beginning in order to delve deeper.

What do you think?  Is it really possible to maintain a sense of optimism, even when you’ve seen and experienced the real world?  Let me know what you think.

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2 thoughts on “Tim’s shortest post ever

  1. What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

    I have just finished reading Philip Yancey’s “What Good is God” in which he describes visits to places where the human spirit is greatly challenged (Virginia Tech after the massacre, South Africa, China, Mumbai, an ex- prostitute conference, etc.). At each place he has had to give a talk to comfort and inspire optimism in his audience. In each place he has met people doing great selfless acts in service to the traumatized. This book is one of Yancey’s best–highly recommended.

    The world does seem to be under considerable stress these days (e.g. earthquakes) from natural and man-made causes but what is new about that? I learned recently about the Shelburne tsunami which hit Nova Scotia about 2 million years ago. It would have wiped out many people, if there were any to wipe out. And then there have been many big impacts from comets in the distant past which if they hit today, would be catastrophic to humans and non-humans alike. The events are very humbling.

    There seems to be nothing new under the sun, except for the advance of technology which, along with an exponential rate of human population growth, means that there are more ways to affect more people.

    So where does that leave us?

    Enjoy beauty, cultivate strong relationships, serve others, and as Peterson wraps up Ecclesiastes, “Fear God. Do what he tells you.”

    A while ago our small group spent some time reading some recent obituaries. It was very enlightening to see what people valued–simultaneously sad but humorous. What would we want to be remembered for?

    This morning as I walked to work, I heard and then spotted at close range a brilliant red cardinal declaring his territory. How can one be anything but hopeful and optimistic as springtime approaches!

    Dr. J

    • Yo Dr. J, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Reading obituaries together as a small group…. sounds morbid!

      Your comment on the cardinal is interesting. When I was doing home support/personal care work for Bayshore, I worked regularly with a guy who had a form of dementia which resulted in repetitive story-telling (as in, the same story over and over in a loop, sometimes upwards of 10 times). Almost every time I was there he’d tell me about this one time when he was sitting at the kitchen table and a brilliant-looking cardinal stopped for a rest on the deck just outside his house. I found it so interesting that he remembered that brief moment so vividly, even though there were days when he couldn’t remember how many kids he had, or whether his wife was still alive or not – and he NEVER remembered my name 🙂

      You know, the interesting thing about technology is that I think the writer of Ecclesiastes would percieve even that as “nothing new”; after all, it’s just the re-working of existing materials into new forms, with new applications. Even new technology is subject to the whims of humanity, and can be a force for good or evil. It can be applied in ways that benefit our lives or it can draw a disproportianate amount of our time, to the extent that our quality (even quantity!) of life is diminished. Nothing new there, just shiny, addictive plastic.

      We are at the mercy of nature, but thankfully I’m feeling more optimistic already than I was a week ago. Maybe it’s the encouragement of friends and family, or just the weather, or a new balance of hormones thanks to regulation of the ol’ pituitary gland. Either way, I appreciate the comments. You might want to come up to Fredericton sometime soon to get one last glimpse of Eden before she’s running around!

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