Mother-Daughter Mass ~ Sunday, April 7, 2019
Salesian Reflection on Joyful Optimism: Take Time to Find the Good
offered by Allison McGinn & Elizabeth McGinn ‘19
Mother Allison’s words are in italics ~ Daughter Elizabeth’s words are in plain text
As I’m sure many of you remember, a few months ago during Fall Gold-White, there were some technical difficulties with our sound system during the cheers. After both teams had been practicing for weeks prior leading up to this day, it was truly heartbreaking when the music wouldn’t play louder than a whisper. Yes, everyone was disappointed, but during this moment the true optimistic spirit of all visitation students really shined through. Instead of turning to panic, the entire student body joined together to sing “Cor Jesu” while we waited for the music to be fixed. Even though this was definitely not ideal or the way absolutely anyone had expected the day to go, both teams made the most of it and did an amazing job. To me, this is what optimism is, simply finding the good in every situation.
Opportunities to be optimistic are all around us, often times without us even realizing. For me, I found one of my biggest frustrations was my daily commute to D.C. for work. When I first started this commute, the long drive and traffic was the most dreaded part of my day. However, when I started to notice and appreciate the beautiful view of the river, monuments, historic buildings, mixture of people I see along the way, and now the cherry blossoms, I began to enjoy this drive and appreciate how fortunate I am to live and work in such a beautiful city. Being an optimist and enjoying the little things in life leads to greater happiness and fulfillment.
Optimism is getting an F on a math quiz, and seeing it as “At least I can only go up from here.” Optimism is the cafeteria being out of chocolate croissants, and seeing it as “I didn’t need the calories anyway.” Optimism is my carpool and I sitting in traffic for two hours one morning, yet we made it an extremely fun time together. Every situation is as good or as bad as you make it. This is a lesson I quickly learned here at Visitation because many things do not go as I had planned, but this doesn’t mean they went wrong. God has a greater plan for us than we have for ourselves. As St. Francis de Sales once said, “Have Jesus always for your patron, His Cross for a mast on which you must spread your resolutions as a sail. Your anchor shall be a profound confidence in Him, and you shall sail prosperously.”
Joyful optimism is trusting and having confidence in God’s plan for us. Optimism reminds me of my favorite quote “If you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.” This quote is so important because being positive when surrounded by negativity can certainly go long way and have a beneficial impact on others. My Mom has instilled in me that we should always look for the positive even when it seems hopeless. Although sometimes we face unwanted obstacles in life, take the time to appreciate the good in every situation, because you will be surprised how much good there truly is.