Friday, June 18, 2010
Families are strengthened when their members look for the good in individual situations as well as in the big events of the world around us. The conditions of our nation today - unemployment, problems in the economy, troubles with illegal immigration, political leaders who use the crises for political gain - sometimes make the world look real dark. Instead of looking at the dark clouds, we should look for the "silver lining" behind the clouds. A negative point of view doesn't help any situation, and the spirit of negativism is like a dark cloud hanging over our land. It is not necessary for us to be naïve about the conditions in our nation and our world because we do have problems, most of them very serious. We do have issues that we need to handle, but we do not need to stifle criticism. Criticism, if performed in a civil manner, can lead to better communication. What we need to do is to look for the good in every circumstance. President Gordon B. Hinckley knew of the problems in the lives of individuals as well as problems in our nation and world when he suggested that we be more positive. "My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we 'accentuate the positive.' I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort." In the dark days of World War II Hitler's army invaded country after country and dropped bombs on London. In this situation, Winston Churchill said, "These are not dark days; these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race." Following the devastating disaster at Dunkirk, Churchill's words rang out across the free world, "We shall not flag or fail…. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." The brave talk by a courageous leader helped Great Britain come through some very dark and deadly days. By talking positively, he was able to give his people hope for a victory. When we walk with faith and hope and cultivate a positive attitude, we increase our faith and hope and our ability to be optimistic. Our individual lives can be happier and our families can be stronger when we cultivate optimism. Ideas and quotes for this post came from Gordon B. Hinckley in Standing for Something, pp 99-107.