A Grin at the End: Perspective – Beating the cynicism disease

June 2021 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, Community, People

carl sampson

We’re all going to be OK.

That is the inescapable conclusion I have reached. I was at a minor league baseball game a few weeks ago, scanning the crowd between pitches. There were families enjoying the evening as the boys of summer sparkled on the diamond. The homers were accompanied by lusty cheers, a light breeze played among the pennants posted beyond center field. For the seventh-inning stretch God Bless America was sung along with the obligatory Take Me out to the Ballgame.

So good.

After more than a year of this virus and that wildfire, of uncertainty and government confusion, we are back
on track.

My wife and I got out of town, visiting relatives and re-upping my love of the East Coast. Everywhere we went we saw friendly faces, some swathed in masks, others not. But it was the eyes that revealed a confident hopefulness everywhere we went.

It reminded me that the strength of the human spirit is not confined to a place. It’s in our DNA. No matter what is thrown at us, no matter what we need to do to get through to tomorrow, we will do it.

I was visiting recently with my mother-in-law. In her 99 years, she has been through the Depression, World War II – she served in the Coast Guard – and made it through numerous stock market crashes, floods, earthquakes and other tragedies, large and small.

But she has also witnessed history, from the first transatlantic plane flight to the first man on the moon, from the founding of the United Nations, which hasn’t lived up to its potential, to the founding of the internet, which has.

All while raising 14 kids, in Alaska.

So good.

For her, and for the rest of us really, today is always the best day ever. Rain or shine, we all have the opportunity to make the best of what we have, and who we have. It’s all there, all we have to do is reach out and hold on for dear life, through the tragedies, the illnesses.

As importantly, there are also the successes, miracles and wonders, all driven by that natural force called love.

Cynicism is a common disease these days. It has infected some people, who apparently want all that’s good and none of the burdens in life. A guy I saw in Portland the other day pretty well summed up this attitude. He was wearing a hat that announced, “People Suck.”

All I could think is, there’s one.

I was in the Chicago airport on my way home. A young lady offered to move so I could sit in one of those seats with the phone chargers attached. While I was fussing with the wire she told me her story. She had been visiting her fiancé in the hospital. He had been in a terrible truck wreck and barely escaped with his life. But he’s going to be OK, she said. He has to, because they are getting married in August.

So good.

Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and editor. He lives in Stayton. His novels are available on amazon.com.

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