Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Shawwal 3, 1445 H
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Hope and optimism amid the pandemic!


Despite all the pain the Covid-19 pandemic has caused to many and how it has slowly transformed from also a temporary inconvenience to many into a new way of life. Those who suffered the most were the optimists who had always expected a return to normalcy, but were disappointed as the pandemic continued. There are some people who did their best and were completely pessimistic about the outside world, yet paid less attention to those external conditions and focused more on what they could do to persevere.

Perhaps in light of this there is a belief that you can improve things without distorting reality: not with optimism, but — if I may say so — with hope. During the last period of the pandemic, optimism was often not the best way to improve your well-being, while some research shows that hope is a more effective force.

However, people tend to use hope and optimism as identical synonymous, but this is not accurate. Hope focuses directly on the personal achievement of specific goals, while optimism focuses more broadly on the expected quality of future outcomes in general.

On the other hand, hope and optimism can go together, but they don’t have to. What I mean here is that you can be a hopeless optimist and feel personally helpless but assume that everything will be fine. While you can be a pessimist an optimist makes negative predictions about the future but have confidence that you can improve things in your life and the lives of others.

So sometimes you can imagine a better future and explain in detail what makes it so. Perhaps then you will begin to convince yourself that better times lie ahead and you will have engaged in optimism, but not yet hope. The fact that envisioning a better future will not make it so on its own, but it can help the world when it changes our personal behaviour from complaint to action! Thus, the next step is to imagine yourself helping in a reasonable way to achieve a better future for you, those around you or your community.

Now that you are armed with hope, you can move on to the most important step of all, action. Take for example, your vision for improvement and the humble ambition to be a part of it in a specific way and implement it accordingly. And follow through with your ideas to help people, maybe you can recommend trying two or three ideas, as your first idea is likely to prove impractical or unrealistic.

Your specific actions may seem like steps in absurdity, because they are so small. Then don’t listen to it, that’s the sound of despair in your head. May be I will advise here saying: Your little path will change your heart and may affect the hearts of others, especially when they see the effect of practicing hope and love on you.

Finally, for some lucky souls, optimism appears uninvited and makes a nest, while hope requires that we make a nest for it and put some delicious bird seed as well.

(The author is a physician, medical innovator and a writer)

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