Tired of negativity? I am. I fall into it myself — and it feels awful. Or there’s the “Oh Dear, there’s nothing I can do” feeling. Depressing. So many things are working against solving huge and urgent problems. But then I meet people who give me hope.
I’m attracted to a quality they share: Informed Optimism. Last week, I spoke on a panel at the BSR Conference — Business for Social Responsibility. I listened to inspiring people: the Patagonia executive who has launched a campaign telling customers why they should not buy more clothes, the solar energy executive deploying panels across the country.
Everyone was focused on solutions. Large-scale solutions to large-scale problems: the key to optimism, hope and resilience. That’s what I’m going to carry in my heart over the next year as I write to you about air pollution and our changing climate.
Optimism comes from health leaders, creative thinkers and innovative leaders in the business, technology and engineering community. And from political leaders willing to speak the truth in dark times. Optimism comes from our own thoughtful friends and neighbors who are mindful of resources, living by some pretty old-fashioned values: stewardship; respect. Optimism comes from those whose moral compass is pointing true north — where a love of the world resides.