JUST as a person whose glass is premanently half empty can drain the sunshine out of a room, just as they can turn a happy moment into one of doubt and anxiety, an optimistic, sunny person — and few of us have any choice about which we are — can lift those around them and find the silver lining in even the darkest, gloomiest cloud. Optimism and pessimism can be infective.
There is hardly a better day in our calendar than today to be optimistic. We, in the depths of mid-winter, turn to a new page knowing that, within weeks, the days will be longer and that we might turn possibility into reality. That is why so many of us, some publicly, some privately, embrace new year resolutions — a kind of modern pilgrimage underpinned by the very best of intentions. These ambitions are not always realistic, but many are. Some want to quit smoking, others want to lose weight. To some, these seem piffling challenges; to others, they are crushing and life-defining. How wonderful it would be if we encouraged those struggling with such challenges to be resolutely optimistic. Happy new year to you all.
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