I’m a 1950 white American male. I thought Ozzie and Harriet Nelson were neighbors. I thought Vin Scully called our little league baseball games. I lived with naive optimism. I believed America saved the world from fascism and could accomplish anything.
Now, in my 72nd lap around the sun, the naive optimism is gone. That’s a good thing. Optimism isn’t bad. It’s better than pessimism. What’s best is realism, a wisdom marked by wrinkled skin and creases not yet paralyzed by botox.
I’m not optimistic about America, but I’m more patriotic than ever about being an American, receiving with gratitude the imperfect idealism of our Founders and determined to live (like Lincoln) with malice toward none and charity for all.
I’m hopeful. Hope isn’t dependent on any party, executive, legislature or court. Hope is rooted in self-evident truths that transcend every institution, government, religion and ideology. We can respond to any situation with hope. Hope is more than optimism.