NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, April 9th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Cal Thomas now with a word of optimism.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
Everywhere you look—from newspaper headlines, to TV “alerts,” to people wearing masks in public places—there is hardly any news that isn’t negative. We don’t see many stories about people not getting the coronavirus, or interviews with those who have recovered from it. The negativity epidemic produces its own kind of infection.
In a 2016 Forbes article, neuropsychologist Dr. Fabian van den Berg warned that constant negativity causes stress. He wrote of the relation between stress and bad health. Quoting now: “If you constantly experience negative emotions, you will be subjected to stress and more sensitive to stressful situations. Being positive is the best defense against stress…” End quote.
So stress can harm our immune systems, while a positive attitude may have immunological benefits—along with washing hands, practicing social distancing, staying home as much as possible and wearing face coverings.
One person who is making his own contribution to reverse the trend toward negativity is Mike McCarthy, a WTOP contributor and editor of DC Magazine. From Washington, D.C., a video he created called “One Day Soon: 25 Reasons for Hope,” narrated by his daughter, Annie, shows scenes of life before the shutdown.
Mike writes: “I wanted to remind my friends and family that amid all of this rotten news we see and hear each day, we have something to look forward to and never take for granted again.”
He’s right. We take so much for granted, including health, prosperity, and freedom. To have all three under attack should prove we can never assume they can’t vanish in a moment.
There’s another “Annie” who with her optimistic spirit helped America get through the Great Depression and World War II. The 1977 Broadway musical inspired by the comic premiered during double-digit interest rates, and double-digit unemployment. Annie sang a song that was the epitome of optimism.
If you don’t remember it, here’s a clip from the 1982 film:
ANNIE: “The sun’ll come out tomorrow, so you gotta hang on till tomorrow. Come what may! Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. You’re only a day away.”
There are many other songs that promote optimism and confidence. Think “Gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face” (“Bye Bye Birdie”). Even Elvis Presley sang: “I’ve got confidence, God is gonna see me through. No matter what the case may be, I know He’s gonna fix it for me.”
Let’s “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” We’ll feel better and it might have a side effect of boosting our immune systems.
I’m Cal Thomas.