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The Centre for Optimism Blog

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  • Wednesday, September 09, 2020 5:45 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "a sweeping, optimistic portrait of humanity’s ability to cooperate in the face of disaster.”

    Beautiful prose. Is this what we will say after the pandemic?

  • Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:05 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

  • Friday, February 21, 2020 9:27 PM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

  • Sunday, February 09, 2020 11:29 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Peggy Grande on Ronald Reagan and his Mother's Optimistic Influence:

    As we celebrate the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth, it’s fitting to also pay tribute to his mother, Nelle Reagan, who planted the seeds of patriotism, optimism, faith and service in the heart of her son.

    "These seeds took root in the heartland of America when Ronald Reagan was a boy and young man, and fully bloomed in Hollywood, Sacramento, Washington and ultimately on the world stage.

    "Young Ronald’s family was very poor. His father was an alcoholic and bounced from job to job, causing the Reagans to move often from one small struggling Midwest town to another.

    "If you looked at the cards of life this little boy had been dealt, you likely would have felt sorry for him. Yet Nelle Reagan raised him to believe that his life could add up to more than the sum of his circumstances and that he could define his life, rather than allowing it to define him.

    "Without knowing she was raising a future president, Nelle nurtured, guided and inspired her son to believe in himself and in the limitless possibilities of life in America.

    "Ronald Reagan never saw being from a small town as something he needed to overcome, but instead saw it as the very foundation for all he would later become. He took after his mother and was an eternal, incurable optimist, adopting her view that “God has a plan for everyone and seemingly random twists of fate are all part of His plan … and in the end, everything will work out for the best.”

    Read the full article

  • Sunday, February 09, 2020 10:08 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "community, solidarity, that unity of purpose, which builds and sustains our sense of optimism, can sometimes seem under intense pressure"

    In a 2017 speech at St Ethelburga’s Centre, Bishopsgate, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster said, 

    "How much need we have for peacemakers in today’s challenging times at home and abroad where many feel fear and insecurity and where community, solidarity, that unity of purpose, which builds and sustains our sense of optimism, can sometimes seem under intense pressure.  

    "So today, I invite us to reflect together on how those of us who are rooted in religious faith can contribute to the revitalisation of community through the reinvigoration of hope. Hope after all is both a core Christian precept and a fundamental human value. St Paul reminds Christians that when we are at peace with God, in Christ, then we have a ‘hope that will not let us down’ (Romans 5.5). 

    "Pope Francis puts this another way suggesting that ‘God's mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones’ (cf. Ez 37.1-14) (Easter Orbi et Urbi message, March 2013).  This is because the building of hope is about the God-given dignity of every human person and is the core of all truly good human endeavours."

    Full speech

  • Sunday, February 09, 2020 9:03 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "Compassion meditation can increase optimism towards a transgressor"

    The abstract of Birgit Koopmann-Holm,Jocelyn Sze,Thupten Jinpa &Jeanne L. Tsai's research reports "Past research reveals important connections between meditative practices and compassion. Most studies, however, focus on the effects of one type of meditation (vs. a no-intervention control) on a single expression of compassion (e.g. offering a seat) towards a relatable target (e.g. a person on crutches), without exploring possible mechanisms. Hence, few studies include different types of meditation, active controls, multiple ways to express compassion, unrelatable targets, and potential mediators. To this end, the present study compared the effects of mindfulness meditation with those of compassion meditation on different expressions of compassion towards a convicted murderer. Seventy-four participants were randomly assigned to a mindfulness meditation, compassion meditation, or active control class, or a no-class control. After an 8-week programme, we assessed compassion by giving participants the option of fulfilling a murderer’s request that they write him and then coding those letters for empathy, sympathy, forgiveness, and optimism. Participants in the compassion meditation class wrote more optimistic letters compared to participants in the other three conditions, in part because they valued positivity more. No statistically significant differences emerged for the other expressions of compassion. We discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of how meditation increases compassion towards unrelatable targets."

    See Report

    See Interview with psypost



  • Friday, February 07, 2020 7:49 PM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Dr Philip Lowe, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia in evidence to the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics February 2020.

    "My main objective is to seem to be credible, trustworthy and reliable and, where I can be, as optimistic as I can be—but, similarly, to be credible. Being credible, trustworthy and realistically optimistic — that's the narrative I want to have, and we discuss that at the board. I think that's appropriate. We live in a fantastic country. We have fantastic opportunities. Things are okay. We want them to be better, but they're okay and they can be better. In the end, I don't think it really matters that much what I say. I'm just one person. But I do want to be credible. ....I want to be credible and realistically optimistic—not fancifully optimistic but realistically optimistic—because my board and my institution are incredibly confident about the future of our country. We've got some challenges but we can meet them. We've met them over decades. By doing that, we've built the best country in the world, and it's growing okay. Inflation is a bit low, but the country's growing okay. We have opportunities in the future and we can take account of those. I'm conscious of drawing attention to those opportunities and subtly challenging people to take advantage of them."

    Sweet Words of Optimism (Members and Subscribers)

  • Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:14 PM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "People who create the contracts now have to be forward-thinking, as the relationships between the parties now last years, rather than ending with the completion of a sale."

    Doug Morse, IACCM, in "From “servitization” to the service-oriented enterprise, a call for business innovation"

  • Monday, January 13, 2020 7:21 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "There's nothing more invigorating to an Optimist than an Existential Challenge!"
    Carmen A Medina

  • Sunday, January 12, 2020 6:01 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "Trump has manifested his characteristic whimsical spells shifting from Panglossian #optimism to Cynic pessimism."
    Osama Rizvi

    People sometimes ask me whether Donald Trump is an optimist.  

    Osama Rizvi writing in moderndiplomacy has an interesting turn of phrase on this question.  Thinking about the China USA trade talks, Osama writes, "Consider the buildup to the current status: There have been more or less 13 meetings between the world economic juggernauts – China and the U.S. share a total of 40 percent of global GDP –to resolve their economic scrum. Trump has manifested his characteristic whimsical spells shifting from Panglossian optimism to Cynic pessimism. Chinese negotiators have reciprocated the fickleness but nevertheless have played along well. Recently, after the half-cooked “Phase One” (or mini deal), many observers and analysts are betting on a more comprehensive trade deal."

    See the full article

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