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Optimism Is Contagious

Maxwell House wants to help Canada’s optimism level…you know, the “is the glass half empty or half full” thing?  This company wants to focus on the brighter side of life because they think that, “optimism is contagious.” If you have a moment, it’s worth going to their website; there are some really awesome, inspiring video clips.

I stumbled across this website a couple of days ago, in the midst of writing and it came at a good time.  The last couple of days, I have been feeling a bit down for a variety of reasons.  When I got home last night, I was sitting in the kitchen, feeling a heaviness in my heart and then I looked at one of my favourite things.  (No, I didn’t break out in song)  This little hope figurestands on my kitchen shelf.  Chris and I continue to debate about whether it’s a boy or a girl but it really doesn’t matter: the point is that I love the lightness in his/her movement and the simplicity of the message.  I can not tell you how many of these little figures I have bought in the past ten years and given away to people who need to be reminded that there’s hope.


So, I started to think about optimism vs. hope.  There is a profound difference in these two terms.   There is so much more to hope. It goes deeper and longer and wider.  The most important difference is that optimism is mustered up by human effort but hope is found in Christ. Vaclav Havel, a Czech playwright, poet and politician said it best.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.  It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. Vaclav Havel

Our guests just arrived for the night – a family of seven.  We’re having a big sleepover and heading to the Cannington Dog Sled Races tomorrow.  Phoenie is joining us too and we are really looking forward to seeing him again.   I think tonight’s festivities and tomorrow’s fun will definitely cheer me up.  But what I need every day of my life is HOPE.


My favourite verse in the bible is Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

No Comments

  1. Margo

    So, I’ve been thinking about hope vs. optimism now for several days (actually, since this post came). I know there’s a difference between the two, but what exactly is the difference? You have given great explanations, but I guess I needed to work it out for myself. I even asked various family members what the difference was. Interesting comments. Some felt they were the same thing, others felt that optimism was “stronger” than hope.
    But I think that optimism is for people who don’t have hope. Optimism is just looking on the bright side of life, or trying to look at things in a positive light, expecting, or wishing that things will come out alright. Hope is much greater than that. I finally came up with it when I was writing my thoughts on Ps. 119 this evening. Hope is a “confident expectation”. We have Christ on our side, which is why we can hope. People who don’t know God personally can’t have hope then, which is why the best that they can do is look on the bright side of life.
    Yes, there is so much more to hope. Especially because we can have confidence in God’s faithfulness.

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