A Word on Wednesday: Optimism

Optimism is something to celebrate.

An optimist will remember the promise of spring on a blustery, winter day, believe in what’s possible rather than dwell on the impossible, and live with more hope than worry. This glass-half-full mindset is shorthand for optimism.     

The noun, optimism, is primarily defined as a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome. 

The word expect is key in looking at the definition. Optimists do not hope for or wish for, they expect. A true optimist will live without fear or doubt slowing them down. 

Further definitions of optimism are closer to its Latin and French Eighteenth Century roots. Optimism is a doctrine/teaching of a belief system:

  • that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world;
  • that goodness pervades reality; or
  • that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.

In this way, optimism is faith. It is doctrine without contradiction, without hocus pocus, and without moral codes of conduct. Optimism also is a word without reference to a deity. It is simple, derived from Latin optimus best, superlative of bonus good.

Optimism declares the world is good, a world where there is an ultimate triumph of good over evil.

Optimists are not just looking to the bright side. Optimists are not just peering through rose-colored glasses. Optimists are more; they are believers.

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