Thursday, October 8, 2015

Can you be positive without being an optimist?

The question is:
Is it possible to act in a positive manner without necessarily being an optimist?
At work today, we were talking about people who act positively and how it is really nice to interact with those who are positive throughout daily interactions. People who are positive seem to respond politely, smile more and are a lot calmer than those who do not display positive traits. We mentioned that working with positive people is really a joy. And then we wondered: are positive people necessarily optimists, or can a person be positive without being an optimist?

To be an optimist, a person should display traits of optimism. Optimists  have expectations that the results from their actions and thoughts will produce a positive outcome (Sheeler and Carver, 1985 as cited by Jackson, 2002). A dictionary defines optimists as being people who have the traits of optimism which is defined as follows on
  1. a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
  2. the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
  3. the belief that goodness pervades reality. 
  4. the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds. 


Because an optimist expects that their actions will produce positive outcomes and that in the end, "positive" results will trump "negative" results, they may or may not act in a positive manner. They may do things that are "good" or that seem "favorable" to them, but I can't see that all things that are "good" or "favorable" might be necessarily "positive." Jackson (2002) finds that those who conduct actions with positive outcomes in mind are often more successful and satisfied with their actions. Jackson sees this type of personal positivity as being optimistic.

If positivism is a trait that means being pleasant and friendly, then certainly a pessimist can act in a positive manner. However, I still wonder if more optimists are positively pleasant?

Jackson, T. (2002). Perceptions of Goal-Directed Activities of Optimists and Pessimists: A Personal Projects Analysis.Journal Of Psychology, 136(5), 521.

Wow I'm still here

Just when you think you've come to the end.... you decide to open your radio app and it suggests you listen to something. My app said, why not try a "Deep Dive" in 80s New Wave? I said, why not, indeed! I started listening and suddenly my world was brighter, I was happier and I think I can take on the whole world.

Thank you, technology.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Response to "Close the Libraries"

In response to this article:  I wrote:

Libraries are about information. I'm an American librarian who works in Texas. Daily, we teach individuals how to use computers, software, tablets and yes, even smartphones and Kindles! As librarians (and media specialists as they're called in our schools), we engage daily in bibliographic instruction that includes the use of technology to access library information--but our instruction is not limited to that. Unlike teachers and peers, librarians are specifically trained to manage information and to find information of all kinds efficiently. Librarians are the most qualified professionals to evaluate information sources and teach how to effectively use the massive amounts of information we have.

Librarians are actively engaged in teaching literacy: several different kinds of literacy actually. We provide traditional literacy activities (storytime, book clubs, language learning, etc). We provide civic literacy--teaching individuals the skills they need to pass the citizenship exam or programs for teens that bring them into contact with the government (Teen Advisory Boards). We also provide technological and practical literacy. People learn to use computers, how to build a web-page or even how to code an original video game. Individuals who visit the library are able to access and learn how to resources such as circuitry, video editing, 3D scanners and printers. Programs vary from library to library, but all libraries attempt to engage our visitors with a sense of wonder and then give them the tools to work with the awesome technology that is available today.

Cutting costs is what you're addressing in this article. However, the cost of cutting access to literacy building (tech and traditional) is priceless. A society without skills is a society that cannot be productive or creative. Literacy is important, as Dale Carnegie -- a capitalist's Capitalist knew! Librarians are about books and the literacy skills all people need to know in order to function as productive, creative and vital citizens.

Oh... and as an aside, I have no problems with free markets. I want people to use bookstores and buy books from Amazon. Heck, I do! Interestingly enough, people who buy books are often the biggest patrons of libraries!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Post Diigo Bookmarks and annotations! (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Post Diigo Bookmarks and annotations! (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I like this quote from the book, Boundaries:

“The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem...Maintaining your boundaries is good for other people; it will help them learn what their families of origin did not teach them: to respect other people.

“Do not let anger be a cue for you to do something. People without boundaries respond automatically to the anger of others. They rescue, seek approval, or get angry themselves. There is great power in inactivity. Do not let an out-of-control person be the cue for you to change your course. Just allow him to be angry and decide for yourself what you need to do.” (p.248)
Not acting is sometimes the hardest thing to do, yet I've seen it work over and over again. Stare down a room of rowdy kids without saying anything and they'll quiet down on their own. I need to practice inaction!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chopped (in my) Kitchen

I love playing Chopped at home! It's fun to experiment and create new variations of dishes based on what you have on hand at home.

Recently, I've discovered that you can make different versions of "pesto" and "hummus" by tweaking the ingredients. Two of my recent faves are mint-teriyaki pesto and black bean hummus. Here's how I made them:

Mint-Teriyaki Pesto
  • Mint leaves
  • Pumpkin seeds (roasted with or without salt)
  • Olive oil (just enough)
  • A little honey
  • A little Soy sauce
  • veggies of choice (I blended in a few leftover raw carrots and broccoli)

    Put everything into a chopping or blending device, blend, adjust to taste.

Black Bean Hummus

  • Black Beans (and some leftover water from cooking them)
  • Peanut butter
  • Raw Garlic * I used four cloves

    Blend, baby, blend. The ratio of black beans to peanut butter was probably around 4 to 1.
Well, that's all for chopped *in my* kitchen. :)