The Daily Prompt: Silver Linings

We could debate whether silver linings exist in reality or in attitude but the answer may not matter. Either way, from my perspective, the ability to perceive silver linings is essential to happiness, contentment, and peace of mind. Silver linings are all about the ability to hope, to get past the inevitable bad and ugly times with the belief it gets better.  Many other people have thought about this, too, that’s why we have anonymous sayings like

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

or the Springsteen  lyric

It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.

or Eugene O’Neil’s

Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue. 

I know a young woman who tried to kill herself this year. Twice. In between, she found a boyfriend – apparently also preoccupied with death – who did then kill himself. I have struggled and flailed to find the right words or argument that would convince her to keep going, to not give up. But I realize it won’t be anybody’s words that turn her around. The desire to live has to come from the inside.

When I was younger I was obsessed with not getting tricked or fooled and I was always determined to Know the Truth in every situation. I don’t think I care about that nowadays. I’m not saying I believe everything I read or hear. I’m not saying I’ve lost interest in truth. All I’m saying is that a suspicious nature takes a severe toll.

It is a fantasy to imagine I or anyone can live without illusions. Optimism is a kind of illusion. Optimists live longer and happier lives. (There are scientific studies about this so it must be true.) My current thinking is that I am going to believe that things will work out and life will evolve in good ways. Maybe on my deathbed I will say Wulp I was sure wrong about that. but in the meantime I will have enjoyed many days of hope and enthusiasm rather than bitterness and resentment.

fire4photo

Wildfires make nasty air.

Wildfires make for gorgeous sunsets.

Wildfires make gorgeous sunsets.

This post topic comes from The Daily Prompt.

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3 thoughts on “The Daily Prompt: Silver Linings

  1. […] The Daily Prompt: Silver Linings | Required Writing […]

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