SENIOR SCENE | Pessimist, optimist, or realist? Which one ‘adjusts the sails?’

Joyce Whitfield - Submitted photo
Joyce Whitfield - Submitted photo

An anonymous author once said, "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." We all know folks in each of these personality classes. Which are you?

Are you one of those people who tend to blame their situation on others or on bad luck, but not themselves? Do you hear them whining that everyone is against them? Or how about those who expect a streak of good luck or others to bail them out of tough times?

Do you know the third type of person, which recognizes the dilemma, assesses what should be done and takes charge of doing it? Most would consider this type as a leader and someone who knows how to "adjust the sails."

During weak economic cycles and times of crisis like we all experience, we are forced to prioritize our commitments. Worrying about the situation does not solve the problem. Relying on an upturn in the market will not result in paying the bills. Reality requires us to make necessary changes in our spending. We forego luxuries, postpone unnecessary purchases, and redo our budgets based on what we have, not what we want.

How about your charity giving? In times of crisis, we might assume a decline in charitable giving would occur. But, if you remember in March 2020, when the pandemic struck, our community responded well, as many "adjusted their sails" to help others. Fortunately, many people considered charitable giving a priority, even when their personal budgets had to be adjusted. Generosity flowed from loving hearts, not just from a leather-bound checkbook. Over $44,000 was pooled together for our communitywide COVID-19 relief fund to purchase grocery assistance gift cards for employees in our community who had suddenly lost income due to no fault of their own.

This is why we exist. The Hot Springs Area Community Foundation takes a realist perspective, reaching out to "adjust the sails" and be there to improve lives and make a better community. We can be reached at 501-372-1007 or visit us at:

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