One of my favorite Bible Verses is Philippians 4:8 (NIV). The Apostle Paul gives us the original encouragement to be an optimist:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.
Our thoughts and internal dialogue, often called self-talk, are powerful influences on our view of things around us.
The daily news brings us ever-more discouraging reports of people’s actions, terrorism and war, and all manner of tragic events. It is easy to become influenced by all the negativity, throw up our hands and feel, “What’s the use?”
When we focus our attention on positive things we can protect ourselves against the draining and painful tug of depressing thoughts and feelings. This doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye toward the forces of abuse and hate in our world. It means we should feed our energies an on-going diet of hope so that we can meet destructive and violent forces with the strength of love and respect of human rights. I believe that violence begets violence and compassion begets compassion.
The entries in Pockets of Joy are intended to remind us to look for the good in people and situations, to create joy for ourselves and others, and lift our spirits to sustain efforts to make the world a better place.