Archive for the ‘hope’ Category

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All I Can Do Is All I Can Do And That Has To Be Enough For Me

July 11, 2010

For Friday, July 9, 2010

Note: I am in a motel once again—out of town teaching, and, as usual, connectivity is not all that I might wish!

Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time. • Norman Cousins

In December 1969, a Gallup Poll asked people in the United States this question: For people like yourself, do you think the world will be a better place to live in ten years from now?

Of those who responded to the poll, thirty-nine percent felt it would be better. Eighteen percent thought it would stay the same, twenty-seven percent didn’t think it would be as good, and six percent had no opinion.

Criticism and pessimism destroy families, undermine institutions of all kinds, defeat nearly everyone, and spread a shroud of gloom over entire nations. • Gordon B. Hinckley

I was reminded of this poll by a student presentation that focused on class size. What I appreciated most was the group’s commitment to providing us with inspiring ideas about what teachers can do regardless of the size of their classes. As a relentless optimist, I am not unaware of life’s realities, but I am determined to try to maintain a positive outlook, particularly when it comes to education.

Pessimism is a very easy way out when you’re considering what life really is, because pessimism is a short view of life. If you take a long view, I do not see how you can be pessimistic about the future of the man or the future of the world. • Robertson Davies

Hope is one of the things I’m selling as an educator. If teachers aren’t optimists, what’s the point of our profession? Why bother teaching anyone anything? I have to believe that my work with students will make a difference for them and that they will make a difference for others. I have to believe that I can do this regardless of the size of the class or the equipment or materials I have. I have to believe in the power of my ingenuity and intention. This doesn’t mean that I think I can change the world. But I can affect small bits of it and my efforts, combined with those of others like me, matter.

The world may end tomorrow. But it may not, and if it doesn’t, people will need to know how to live in it.

Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. • Martin Luther King Jr.

So, what do you think? For people like yourself, do you think the world will be a better place to live in ten years from now?

Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A word of optimism and hope. And you can do it when things are tough. • Richard M. Devos


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