The past one month has really been challenging for me. What was meant to be a time of rest turned out to be a troubling moment.  But like I always say, everyone has what it takes to go through the storms. In my recent experience, I like to tell you my friendly companions: passion and optimism. For passion, I found time to do those things I love- I wrote and I composed a number of songs. Optimism was born out previous travails I recalled. I also read my own articles to encourage myself. I thought of my dreams and how my status quo should not deter me from remaining hopeful and I constantly prayed in my heart, even when I was weak.

A week ago, I went through the archives of my PC and found what I had done 5-6 years ago. I saw that I was still the same person. I went through some essays and applications I had written, and I was impressed. I had started this journey many years ago. I remember when in 2001, I submitted an essay to EasyAid in response to a competition that requested us to write on “What is the most important attribute that you would need to imbibe in order to secure the future you desire?” I also got to see some poems I had written back in the late 90’s that I had saved in my very first email address and I was so delighted.

Sometimes when things go wrong and you feel that all roads are blocked against you, revisit the past and see how optimistic you were about your future, so now that you are in the future of your past do not disappoint the younger you. Remain strong, hold on!

When your family experiences an unhappy moment, do not be depressed. You need to be strong for those who are weaker. Remember those days when you all smiled and be cheerful. Bring back good memories. Fetch from the past!

It is important that we see the past as assets and treasures in which we can draw from.  The future remains a vacuum- an empty space void of certainty, and our present might not encouraging. When we look for an anchor to hold unto as the wind of life blows fiercely, making attempts to sweep us off our feet, it is the happy and victorious moments of the past that we can hold unto. We can look back to our optimism of our growing years and chose not to quit.

In this life, for every challenge you face, there might reasons why should quit, nevertheless, there are even more reasons why you shouldn’t.

This is one of the several poems I memorized in my teenage days, and I will like to share it with you



When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are –
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

– by John Greenleaf Whittier


Losing hope and giving up is often an option, but drawing from the optimism of the past can help us to keep holding on in the struggles of life.

13 thoughts on “Drawing from the Optimism of the Past”

  1. This is an amazing piece you’ve shared with us. True progress isn’t always about wealth and property. Its about looking at you past self and the present YOU and seeing so much difference. Its seeing how far you’ve come and how better you are now. Thank you for sharing Ma.

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