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Piece of Mind: Optimism Put To Test

Afghan War emerges as huge crisis for the nation.
Worldwatchnetwork photo

Those of you who know me best will understand that I am an eternal optimist. I tend to see the best in people; too often, I admit that they let me down.

My wife tends to look more skeptically at individuals she meets for the first time, which is smart in that it saves her the grief of dealing with disappointment.

My optimism extends also to the state and strength of our nation, which I admit fully and freely is undergoing many stresses that threaten its very fabric.

The pandemic continues to ravage our population. We are ending a war in Afghanistan and are watching the bad guys seize the government they once ran. We have a former president of the United States whose cult following continues to wreak havoc on our democratic processes.

Will any of these factors individually doom our nation? Will they do so collectively? Can we stop any of these things from reaching critical mass? Can we stop them all?

No and yes to the first and second set of questions. At least that is how I see it.

Our framers crafted a government built to withstand these challenges. They sought to create “a more perfect Union.” They knew better than to seek absolute perfection. They knew the nation under construction in the 18th century would be an ongoing work in progress likely for as long as the republic existed.

I am going to retain my optimism even as we struggle with these battles. Indeed, any concession to the worst-case scenarios out there would consign me to a level of anxiety that I am not sure I could handle.

So, perhaps my optimism is a self-defense strategy. Whatever. I’ll maintain it until the bottom falls out and rely on the wisdom that President Ford offered when he took office at the end of an earlier monumental crisis.

He told us: “Our Constitution works.”

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, also is a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is retired but is still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis’s blog for KETR, “Piece of Mind,” presents his views and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.

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