OPINION: Optimism in a pandemic


Junior Andrea Baker smiles for a photo with her mask on Monday, August 17 inside the RSC.

I will not deny that being optimistic in a pandemic is both difficult and potentially dangerous. But at the same time, optimism can lead to seeing the world in a different way — a way that doesn’t simply focus on the poor or negative aspects, but expands to what good you’ve seen in the world recently.

18 months ago, we believed that a pandemic meant two weeks of lockdown and then a return to normal.

Now, we struggle to find the beauty within what we are going through. Even though it may be easy to criticize others, we shouldn’t. We may fail to realize that the person on the other side of the plexiglass might be having just as bad, if not worse, of a day as we are.

Optimism in a pandemic means embracing something that has been gaining momentum over the last 5-6 years; a growth mindset. Yes, there are times where we feel negative and are going to have a negative attitude about everything going on, however, it isn’t an excuse to be rude or a pessimist.

The definition of growth mindset is simply the belief that with hard work and dedication, anything can be done. This turns a statement from a negative and stuck mindset into a transformed and optimistic mindset which reflects more of an upward look on life, not necessarily positive.

Yes, sometimes we need to feel the negative emotions we go through during this pandemic. Primarily, because even though we don’t want to admit it, we are human.

The importance of optimism in a growth mindset is just what’s in the phrase. Growth. Maybe today you didn’t have much optimism and you found that you’ve got more of a fixed mindset — but there is always tomorrow.

Walt Disney himself knew this, he was the one who said “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day.”

There are a little less than 100 days left of 2021. Can we challenge each other as shockers, community members, friends, and families to embrace a growth mindset and be optimistic? That is my challenge for you.

Do something each day to be more optimistic.