My Default Position

I am, by nature, a hopeful person.

Recently, when I said that in conversation, the other person said to me, “What is the source of that attitude for you?”  At first, I was kind of put off by the word “attitude,” thinking it was something more substantial. But, the more I thought, the more I realized that is exactly what it is, an attitude that is my normal perception, my normal stance toward whatever comes.

Another way to say is that hope, hopefulness, is my default position.

Maybe that’s why I have difficulty understanding people who spend so much time criticizing, being negative, focusing almost entirely on what’s wrong. Oh, there are so many in the world who live that way so, of course, I have learned to live with them, to listen, and to care for, and even love, them.

But their default position mystifies me. And draws my sympathy. What a hard way to live, always finding fault and seeing the worst in others!

That’s not to say I am always upbeat and happy, or that I cannot be critical. Criticism is often needed. It can help us grow. But if that is all there is, then there is little or no growth.

So what, or who, is the source of this default position of mine? It seems clear to me that I trust God, and thus trust others, that I live grounded in God’s free gift of life and love. It is not hard to be hopeful, to have hope, on that basis.

I feel blessed. I hope you do, too.

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