OPTIMIST VIEW – An Inspired Global Reaction to Change

The Optimist View

By Summers McKay and Kaley Craft

SUMMERS: To say the last few months have been an extraordinary change would be an understatement for much of the world. For some of us, everything is different, and for others – far less – but we still know things will never be as they were before. For those of us who still have an income, and the ability to do meaningful work, while keeping our families and homes on track, it has been an unbelievable gift. Thanks to the generosity of our key investors, along with our Emissary supporters, we at The Optimist Daily are  so far among the fortunate.  We are very grateful that we are still able to do this work. 

As a mom of a high school senior,  a high school freshman, and a 9-month-old my home life has changed dramatically. My husband and I suddenly had to split workdays and child care, with me at the desk from 8 – 2 and then a quick kiss and baby handoff, and him off to work from 2 – 10 (and sometimes all night). Like others in the developed world with full households, we battle bandwidth issues, keeping the fridge stocked, ensuring no major appliances go down with the increased usage (I’m looking at you, dishwasher), keeping emotions calm, grandparents loved from a distance, all while managing a reduction in income – as my husband’s service business has suffered significantly in the past seven weeks. Our children’s experience in high school has irreparably changed, and as a #Classof2020Mom I am heartbroken for the missed graduations, proms, and end of chapter celebrations my son will miss. While we are safe and well, we are not unaffected – and this has been hard. However, there are brilliant silver linings, incredible heroes in our family, and things that inspire us every day. 

At the Optimist Daily, our business is sharing inspiration and solutions meant to advance the betterment of the world, and we are determined to get those stories to as many people as possible. You, our brilliant readers, have helped us do this in unprecedented ways during the COVID-19 crisis. We have seen an extraordinary expansion in the traffic on our site, growth in those who are reading and sharing our stories on social media and a rapidly growing audience of those listening to the Optimist Daily Update podcast every day. Teachers are reading and sharing stories with their students, from grade school to university, and colleagues are sending solutions to their teammates. We are honored. 

I am incredibly proud of my team for their commitment to this work in the midst of a quickly changing world and ramped up schedules. Not only have we increased our content velocity, our distribution channels, and added another day of publishing, but we’ve had to dig deeper and harder to find positive things to share with you, source new perspectives, and find the heroes to salute for their work healing our world. 

KALEY: For many people around the world, including our very own Optimist Daily team members, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown daily life and routine out the window. What many are left with is a struggle to feel normal and stay hopeful in a time without much direction on how to do either. 

I’m one of the few lucky individuals whose routine didn’t see too much of a shakeup when California began stay-at-home orders. The majority of our team already does a lot of our work remotely, as we are spreading locations around the world. I do my job from a home office in Northern California and take advantage of the smooth work system we have developed together. I am also currently staying with family, and have sheltered in place until the state begins to open up again. 

Living in the home I grew up in, with my parents and my 18-year-old brother, feels like I’ve traveled back to a time before college and full-time employment. Though my routine hasn’t changed much, I still get my morning coffee and sit down to join our team Zoom calls – which may or may not include our respective office pets (2 rats, 4 cats, 5 dogs, and 1 snake) – and I can see how my family has been affected by the global shutdown. My father, an ever-traveling businessman in the wine industry, has had to learn how to do the entirety of his job and manage a staff of people from home, all while feeling cooped up in a full house. 

My mother works in the school district as an administrator for high school students and has had to adapt to Zoom meetings and phone calls with colleagues and having entirely too much free time on her hands. Watching her navigate the new version of high school has been tough. My brother missed out on the last semester of his senior year of high school – he didn’t get to say goodbye to teachers, will not enjoy prom with his friends and girlfriend, has had his senior trip canceled, and is waiting to hear if his class will have a formal graduation ceremony.

But we have been incredibly lucky so far. None of  our friends, our family, or even our immediate community has been sick with COVID-19 or any other illness over the last couple of months. We are also still working and keeping busy, and I am grateful to work full-time for an organization that helps bring hope and positivity to the lives of others. 

This pandemic and what it has so quickly changed in our  society has given me the gift of perspective. Things I may have taken for granted in the past, like good health, time with my family, and overall stability, now seem wonderful aspects of my life that I feel incredibly fortunate to enjoy. I know that I, like many others, will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life, especially knowing that nothing will truly be the same when this is over. I believe that the work we do at The Optimist Daily does make a difference, and that having a resource for positivity and solutions in a time of so much uncertainty can help us adapt to the changes ahead.

SUMMERS: Together, Kaley and I helm the marketing and communications side of The Optimist Daily. We are the data nerds in this storytelling crew. Every week, we sit down with the Editorial Team and let them know what stories resonated with our audience, which ones seem to have inspired, and on occasion, which ones seem to have inflamed. As a team, we work diligently to determine how we can have the most positive impact, and unlike other news media organizations, our focus is not just the metrics of attention (aka, clicks and eyeballs), but also we pay attention to what matters to our readers and the way that we can make the world better for the humans reading our stories. 

Over the last seven weeks, we’ve identified several themes that have resonated in a powerfully positive way with our readers, and now we’re sharing these stories with you again. Consider this a massive dose of the very best of the best in what makes our world shine. 

Expanding Hobby Horizons

Throughout the month of April,  most of the globe lived under some level of “stay-at-home” restrictions order to stay safe and healthy. People have had to find some creative new ways to stay busy and keep feeling productive. Despite shortages of pre-packaged yeast, baking became a trend for many, and learning how to make your own baking yeast at home became a hot topic on the Optimist Daily. Others took up home exercise alternatives to maintain fitness routines and stay in shape while binging streaming shows; online workout classes are booming, with many instructors offering free feeds for the public to take part in and use to replace their regular gym time. 

An increase in stress and worry about boosting our health has also been top of mind around the world. At the Optimist Daily, we have long recommended journaling as a form of stress relief, and this activity could prove more essential now than ever (plus it will help your children understand what crazy stuff went down in the time of coronavirus)! Making your own hand sanitizer can also be a way to stay busy and ensure you have a way to hygenify on the go (is that a word?).

For those looking for meaningful ways to spend their new free time, citizen science can be a great new hobby. We’ve written about many ways to contribute to the world of science from your home, including observing nature in your very own backyard and stargazing to help astronomers demystify our universe

People who Inspire

Fortunately, we’ve also seen humanity acting in positive and inspiring ways that we need to maintain hope. With so many people out of work, making rent has been a widespread concern for millions. We’ve written about multiple landlords who are working to help residents by canceling or waiving rent, and even pushing business owners to use their rent money to pay employees instead.  Grocery stores like Publix are even lending a helping hand by buying excess food from farmers and donating it to food banks.

Celebrities, like Dolly Parton, and children’s book authors are reading stories out loud to kids in order to keep them entertained while social-distancing at home! These children are even doing some uplifting community activities of their own. A 6-year-old in Canada is running a joke stand for his neighbors to lift neighbors’ spirits.  We are sure many more stories of outstanding global citizens are to come and we can’t wait to hear the good news.

Silver Linings

Despite the uncertainty and fear that has surrounded the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been lucky to find some silver linings in the stay-at-home orders and slower pace of life. Italians, ever the positive group, are reviving new customs of “paying it forward” to help keep people in their communities fed and doing well. 

We have also seen a remarkable environmental impact from reduced human activity. For the first time in 30 years, the Himalayan mountain range is visible to residents of India from 200 miles away. Some of the world’s most polluted cities are also breathing cleaner air and, amazingly, marine life is rebounding in ways we haven’t seen since the world wars. 

Animals Gone Wild

Animals around the world are flourishing in the lack of human activity due to COVID-19. Our Optimist Daily team loves sea turtles, and has written about the amazing ways sea turtles are thriving in Thailand, Brazil, and the United States! Many animals are also returning to regular activity in their native habitats; flamingos in Albania are being seen by the thousands enjoying lagoons around the country and the wildlife of Yosemite valley in California is roaming free in areas normally populated with tourists.

We have also celebrated victories for animals that aren’t due to COVID-19. Coral populations are being reintroduced to reefs in Florida, new animal births are being seen for populations for the first time in over 100 years, and a species of eagle has been returned to its habitat in Southern England after a 240 year hiatus!

Technology of Change

We live in an age of technology, so it’s no surprise that many solutions we see that are helping to deal with the pandemic are based on new innovations. 

Drones and robots are being put to use to achieve contactless delivery for a wide variety of things. Coronavirus testing has been accelerated in Ghana due to drones, and even the UPS is using drones to deliver medicines to retired communities. 

Ventilators have been in high demand around the world, and we’ve seen organizations like MIT publish plans to build emergency devices and others creating 3D printed valves to help hospitals when supplies get low.

The average citizen can take advantage of changing technologies well, like using this app to locate community bookstores and help support them in these trying times!

SUMMERS: My personal silver lining in all of this has been to see a beautiful relationship develop between my children and their new little sister, who relies heavily on their smiles and games of peek-a-boo as a respite from her mommy and daddy. Prior to our at home isolation, the older kids were too busy to really find time to enjoy the little one, and she and I were too busy rushing from daycare to work to home to dinner to bath to bed to let the relationships naturally develop. In truth, the beautiful relationship between my husband and daughter has also been extraordinarily touching. I don’t think he anticipated having to spend so much time with his newborn daughter, but to see them move into a loving, tender and playful routine together of bottles, bike rides, cuddles, all while mommy works just feet away has been life-changing. As the CEO of a positive news media organization at this time, I have had to ask for my entire family’s commitment to helping me get the job done as best as I can. Everyone has stepped up and in and it has been a true gift.  Between this and the work, I am blessed to have at The Optimist Daily, this unprecedented period of quarantine and the global pandemic has not been entirely without moments of good.

Kaley and I both have been delighted by the stories we’ve seen come together on The Optimist Daily these past few months. It has been what has kept us inspired. We will continue to work for you and our world by getting these solutions out there and making sure our team remains inspired. In order to do this though, we will continue to need your help. Please share with us what has been your personal silver lining, who inspires you, and how this world is changing for the good. 

 

Solution News Source

OPTIMIST VIEW – An Inspired Global Reaction to Change

The Optimist View

By Summers McKay and Kaley Craft

SUMMERS: To say the last few months have been an extraordinary change would be an understatement for much of the world. For some of us, everything is different, and for others – far less – but we still know things will never be as they were before. For those of us who still have an income, and the ability to do meaningful work, while keeping our families and homes on track, it has been an unbelievable gift. Thanks to the generosity of our key investors, along with our Emissary supporters, we at The Optimist Daily are  so far among the fortunate.  We are very grateful that we are still able to do this work. 

As a mom of a high school senior,  a high school freshman, and a 9-month-old my home life has changed dramatically. My husband and I suddenly had to split workdays and child care, with me at the desk from 8 – 2 and then a quick kiss and baby handoff, and him off to work from 2 – 10 (and sometimes all night). Like others in the developed world with full households, we battle bandwidth issues, keeping the fridge stocked, ensuring no major appliances go down with the increased usage (I’m looking at you, dishwasher), keeping emotions calm, grandparents loved from a distance, all while managing a reduction in income – as my husband’s service business has suffered significantly in the past seven weeks. Our children’s experience in high school has irreparably changed, and as a #Classof2020Mom I am heartbroken for the missed graduations, proms, and end of chapter celebrations my son will miss. While we are safe and well, we are not unaffected – and this has been hard. However, there are brilliant silver linings, incredible heroes in our family, and things that inspire us every day. 

At the Optimist Daily, our business is sharing inspiration and solutions meant to advance the betterment of the world, and we are determined to get those stories to as many people as possible. You, our brilliant readers, have helped us do this in unprecedented ways during the COVID-19 crisis. We have seen an extraordinary expansion in the traffic on our site, growth in those who are reading and sharing our stories on social media and a rapidly growing audience of those listening to the Optimist Daily Update podcast every day. Teachers are reading and sharing stories with their students, from grade school to university, and colleagues are sending solutions to their teammates. We are honored. 

I am incredibly proud of my team for their commitment to this work in the midst of a quickly changing world and ramped up schedules. Not only have we increased our content velocity, our distribution channels, and added another day of publishing, but we’ve had to dig deeper and harder to find positive things to share with you, source new perspectives, and find the heroes to salute for their work healing our world. 

KALEY: For many people around the world, including our very own Optimist Daily team members, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown daily life and routine out the window. What many are left with is a struggle to feel normal and stay hopeful in a time without much direction on how to do either. 

I’m one of the few lucky individuals whose routine didn’t see too much of a shakeup when California began stay-at-home orders. The majority of our team already does a lot of our work remotely, as we are spreading locations around the world. I do my job from a home office in Northern California and take advantage of the smooth work system we have developed together. I am also currently staying with family, and have sheltered in place until the state begins to open up again. 

Living in the home I grew up in, with my parents and my 18-year-old brother, feels like I’ve traveled back to a time before college and full-time employment. Though my routine hasn’t changed much, I still get my morning coffee and sit down to join our team Zoom calls – which may or may not include our respective office pets (2 rats, 4 cats, 5 dogs, and 1 snake) – and I can see how my family has been affected by the global shutdown. My father, an ever-traveling businessman in the wine industry, has had to learn how to do the entirety of his job and manage a staff of people from home, all while feeling cooped up in a full house. 

My mother works in the school district as an administrator for high school students and has had to adapt to Zoom meetings and phone calls with colleagues and having entirely too much free time on her hands. Watching her navigate the new version of high school has been tough. My brother missed out on the last semester of his senior year of high school – he didn’t get to say goodbye to teachers, will not enjoy prom with his friends and girlfriend, has had his senior trip canceled, and is waiting to hear if his class will have a formal graduation ceremony.

But we have been incredibly lucky so far. None of  our friends, our family, or even our immediate community has been sick with COVID-19 or any other illness over the last couple of months. We are also still working and keeping busy, and I am grateful to work full-time for an organization that helps bring hope and positivity to the lives of others. 

This pandemic and what it has so quickly changed in our  society has given me the gift of perspective. Things I may have taken for granted in the past, like good health, time with my family, and overall stability, now seem wonderful aspects of my life that I feel incredibly fortunate to enjoy. I know that I, like many others, will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life, especially knowing that nothing will truly be the same when this is over. I believe that the work we do at The Optimist Daily does make a difference, and that having a resource for positivity and solutions in a time of so much uncertainty can help us adapt to the changes ahead.

SUMMERS: Together, Kaley and I helm the marketing and communications side of The Optimist Daily. We are the data nerds in this storytelling crew. Every week, we sit down with the Editorial Team and let them know what stories resonated with our audience, which ones seem to have inspired, and on occasion, which ones seem to have inflamed. As a team, we work diligently to determine how we can have the most positive impact, and unlike other news media organizations, our focus is not just the metrics of attention (aka, clicks and eyeballs), but also we pay attention to what matters to our readers and the way that we can make the world better for the humans reading our stories. 

Over the last seven weeks, we’ve identified several themes that have resonated in a powerfully positive way with our readers, and now we’re sharing these stories with you again. Consider this a massive dose of the very best of the best in what makes our world shine. 

Expanding Hobby Horizons

Throughout the month of April,  most of the globe lived under some level of “stay-at-home” restrictions order to stay safe and healthy. People have had to find some creative new ways to stay busy and keep feeling productive. Despite shortages of pre-packaged yeast, baking became a trend for many, and learning how to make your own baking yeast at home became a hot topic on the Optimist Daily. Others took up home exercise alternatives to maintain fitness routines and stay in shape while binging streaming shows; online workout classes are booming, with many instructors offering free feeds for the public to take part in and use to replace their regular gym time. 

An increase in stress and worry about boosting our health has also been top of mind around the world. At the Optimist Daily, we have long recommended journaling as a form of stress relief, and this activity could prove more essential now than ever (plus it will help your children understand what crazy stuff went down in the time of coronavirus)! Making your own hand sanitizer can also be a way to stay busy and ensure you have a way to hygenify on the go (is that a word?).

For those looking for meaningful ways to spend their new free time, citizen science can be a great new hobby. We’ve written about many ways to contribute to the world of science from your home, including observing nature in your very own backyard and stargazing to help astronomers demystify our universe

People who Inspire

Fortunately, we’ve also seen humanity acting in positive and inspiring ways that we need to maintain hope. With so many people out of work, making rent has been a widespread concern for millions. We’ve written about multiple landlords who are working to help residents by canceling or waiving rent, and even pushing business owners to use their rent money to pay employees instead.  Grocery stores like Publix are even lending a helping hand by buying excess food from farmers and donating it to food banks.

Celebrities, like Dolly Parton, and children’s book authors are reading stories out loud to kids in order to keep them entertained while social-distancing at home! These children are even doing some uplifting community activities of their own. A 6-year-old in Canada is running a joke stand for his neighbors to lift neighbors’ spirits.  We are sure many more stories of outstanding global citizens are to come and we can’t wait to hear the good news.

Silver Linings

Despite the uncertainty and fear that has surrounded the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been lucky to find some silver linings in the stay-at-home orders and slower pace of life. Italians, ever the positive group, are reviving new customs of “paying it forward” to help keep people in their communities fed and doing well. 

We have also seen a remarkable environmental impact from reduced human activity. For the first time in 30 years, the Himalayan mountain range is visible to residents of India from 200 miles away. Some of the world’s most polluted cities are also breathing cleaner air and, amazingly, marine life is rebounding in ways we haven’t seen since the world wars. 

Animals Gone Wild

Animals around the world are flourishing in the lack of human activity due to COVID-19. Our Optimist Daily team loves sea turtles, and has written about the amazing ways sea turtles are thriving in Thailand, Brazil, and the United States! Many animals are also returning to regular activity in their native habitats; flamingos in Albania are being seen by the thousands enjoying lagoons around the country and the wildlife of Yosemite valley in California is roaming free in areas normally populated with tourists.

We have also celebrated victories for animals that aren’t due to COVID-19. Coral populations are being reintroduced to reefs in Florida, new animal births are being seen for populations for the first time in over 100 years, and a species of eagle has been returned to its habitat in Southern England after a 240 year hiatus!

Technology of Change

We live in an age of technology, so it’s no surprise that many solutions we see that are helping to deal with the pandemic are based on new innovations. 

Drones and robots are being put to use to achieve contactless delivery for a wide variety of things. Coronavirus testing has been accelerated in Ghana due to drones, and even the UPS is using drones to deliver medicines to retired communities. 

Ventilators have been in high demand around the world, and we’ve seen organizations like MIT publish plans to build emergency devices and others creating 3D printed valves to help hospitals when supplies get low.

The average citizen can take advantage of changing technologies well, like using this app to locate community bookstores and help support them in these trying times!

SUMMERS: My personal silver lining in all of this has been to see a beautiful relationship develop between my children and their new little sister, who relies heavily on their smiles and games of peek-a-boo as a respite from her mommy and daddy. Prior to our at home isolation, the older kids were too busy to really find time to enjoy the little one, and she and I were too busy rushing from daycare to work to home to dinner to bath to bed to let the relationships naturally develop. In truth, the beautiful relationship between my husband and daughter has also been extraordinarily touching. I don’t think he anticipated having to spend so much time with his newborn daughter, but to see them move into a loving, tender and playful routine together of bottles, bike rides, cuddles, all while mommy works just feet away has been life-changing. As the CEO of a positive news media organization at this time, I have had to ask for my entire family’s commitment to helping me get the job done as best as I can. Everyone has stepped up and in and it has been a true gift.  Between this and the work, I am blessed to have at The Optimist Daily, this unprecedented period of quarantine and the global pandemic has not been entirely without moments of good.

Kaley and I both have been delighted by the stories we’ve seen come together on The Optimist Daily these past few months. It has been what has kept us inspired. We will continue to work for you and our world by getting these solutions out there and making sure our team remains inspired. In order to do this though, we will continue to need your help. Please share with us what has been your personal silver lining, who inspires you, and how this world is changing for the good. 

 

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