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POSITIVELY SPEAKING: If there was ever a time for radical optimism, it is now

Be optimistic. Get excited. Great things are on the brink of occurring. Positive shifts in paradigms are happening. Be open and embrace the future. From the ashes of a pandemic, incredible and positive change can occur. Be open!

Our nation always has responded positively and with overwhelming optimism to any challenge. When looking back at the history of World War II, you see how lives changed overnight and factories building cars one day were turning out tanks and airplanes the next. From the tragedy of Pearl Harbor emerged the greatest and most powerful nation in history. Democracy spread like wildfire, and the world has never been the same. I believe something positive and similar will happen because of this pandemic.

Look at General Motors. One day, they were turning out cars and, 40 days later, they are turning out respirators. Look at the multitudes of companies and everyday people sewing masks. Americans are always up to the challenge.

Americans have a history of radical optimism that inspires nations and people around the globe.

I keep hearing people ask, “Will things ever get back to normal?” And my response is, “Maybe there’s a new and improved normal coming.”

Many have commented they like having their groceries delivered. I embrace the idea that, other than for emergencies, I can visit my doctor on my phone or laptop and not have to go into the office. I think we have all become more deliberate at keeping in touch with relatives and loved ones who live in distant places via FaceTime, Zoom and other group meeting programs.

Yes, some are commenting that we are becoming germophobic, but shouldn’t we all wash our hands more and practice social distancing when we have a cold or flu? Being aware of the various ways to protect ourselves and others is a healthy thing.

My friend, Judith Salitore, wrote to me and said, “Radical optimism is having a dedication … a commitment to always trying to find the good in every situation and not remaining on the side of defeat, hate or negativism in your life or experience.”

She also sent this quote from the Athenian historian Thucydides: “The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them. Glory and danger alike, and notwithstanding. Go out to meet it.”

My point is simple. If there was ever a time for bravery, vision and radical optimism, it is now. Many people look only at the negatives that come from change. Sure, I can sit and point at a few obvious negatives, but what good comes of complaining? Instead, let us focus on the positive and embrace the good that comes from hard or difficult times.

I believe this pandemic has uncovered many weaknesses and cracks in our nation’s foundation. Now exposed, we can positively fix them.

I believe turning over the manufacturing of our pharmaceuticals to China was a national security risk that has been exposed. We should expect and demand it to return within our nation and control, and I believe it will. We cannot allow our basic health and well-being to be held hostage by a foreign government.

We’ve learned that some of our high-tech firms are sharing information in China that puts us all at risk. This is something we the people must demand comes to an end. In the name of business, we cannot allow our companies to sell the safety of our people off for financial gain.

I believe the World Health Organization has been exposed to be either inept or corrupt.

Make no mistake. We need a global health organization of some kind, but not one that is politicized and run with extreme bias and mismanagement.

Acknowledging these weaknesses and others is a positive; if we recognize them and act to make the positive and necessary changes. We are up to the challenge.

I’m confident in the human spirit and our ability to overcome the greatest obstacles. We will survive this pandemic and then thrive.

Be optimistic about our future. Why expect gloom and doom? Sure, we have a rough road ahead, but that road leads us to a bright future and greater times.

I’m a radical optimist. Will you join me?

• Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com

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