Optimism: the key to meaningful progress

When it comes to solving problems, one of the most difficult things to do is maintain a sense of optimism.

So often, it feels as if we’re all just spinning our wheels, like we’re stuck on a treadmill — going nowhere fast.

Change takes an eternity, tangible improvement is difficult to observe on a day-to-day basis, and cooperating with each other is exhausting.

When I find myself slipping into this resigned line of thinking, it’s helpful for me to take a sociological view of the world.

The truth is, we exist in a liminal space — one of perennial, uncomfortable, and necessary transitions.

Violent crime has seen steep declines in the USA. Americans are more educated than ever before. We’re currently in the midst of the longest economic expansion in our history.

It’s incredibly easy to feel as if things are hopeless.

But they aren’t.

There are plenty of words you can use to describe the human story: discovery, violence, innovation, oppression.

But I’d argue that none characterize our shared experience better than this one: progress.

As we begin this new year, I challenge you to maintain a sense of optimism as it relates to our ability to make meaningful progress.