The Art of Learning to be Optimists [Archives:2001/31/Focus]

July 30 2001

Mohammed Khidhr
No sooner than birds awake at the approach of the first beams of daylight, even before there is really light, they start shaking off the inactivity and inertia of their slumber and begin to twitter and call others to wake up to welcome the new day. Each bird begins to chirp with its own distinct sound and when it is already full light we can hear a most beautifully enchanting melody performed by a huge-numbered orchestra, flooding the air with colorful songs that rapture and enchant all creatures, especially humans. Even the air begins to dance in tune with this divine melody in the form of gentle breezes which move the slender twigs of trees.
From the early morning birds begin to fly here and there in search of food to take to their nests, where their fledglings await, with tiny yawning beaks, to be fed. It means the beginning of birds’ daily toil for providing living for them and their young. From dawn to dusk birds would not succumb to tiredness, they are always active and on alert. It is similar to human and animal struggle for survival. But what differentiate birds from humans is that the former begin their day without forgetting to chant praise to the Lord.
Even flowers and tree leaves welcome the day with opening up their petals and leaflets to receive the first golden rays of the sun that enliven them and help leaves of trees assimilate food. Hence plants and flowers welcome the day with open arms, joy and optimism as all living elements of nature act in harmony portraying a fabulously beautiful painting of hopeful nature. a
Thus we have to know that the process of hard work for earning living is not confined to humans only, it is shared by every element of nature; the animate and the inanimate alike. It is beautiful and nice how birds, animals and plants, and even the Earth, greet their day in an ecstatic manner. Humans have from the very beginning of their creation on earth been closely watching birds and other living species, studying their behavior and ways of survival. They have watched birds with keen eyes and minds, wondering how they manage to fly and soar up so deep in the sky and thought of imitating them. Man has done every possible and available thing to fly in the sky as birds do. At last and after multitudes of experiments he managed to invent certain engines fitted in bodies suitable to be used for moving from place to place around the globe in a speedier way. And that was how they invented and manufactured balloons and jet planes, now with very very high speeds. Man has also worked hard to imitate many things from nature and the living creatures whether those living on land or those under seas and oceans. One important thing man does not want to learn from earth’s creatures and imitate them, and that is their optimism and spontaneity of living. He does not want to learn the way these creatures welcome their day nor to follow suit their hard work for survival and their cooperation to achieve that.
You leave your house in the morning heading for your office, factory, shop or any other places of daily activity and scarcely meet with other people putting on their faces the merriment and hopefulness they should begin their day with. It is very seldom to find someone greeting you with a smile, this enchanting expression that inspires happiness and optimism any one it is addressed to. They begin their day in a way as if they were prodded to leave their beds and pushed hard to go out of their houses in quest of earning their living. Unfortunately, some would rather prefer to sit back idle waiting for some invisible force to come to their help, feeding them and taking care of every need of theirs.
Some may argue that the life of creatures other than humans is motivated by instinct and thus might be simpler than the complicated and diversified life and concerns of humans. Nevertheless this does not pose as an excuse for humans not to be hopeful and optimists. I think it is worth trying.