I don't consider myself to be an optimist. Sometimes I am, but it seems that I usually take the glass-half-empty view on things. I found a website yesterday that is amazing. Each little story makes me smile, and many have almost made me cry.
It is often said that humanity is declining, that true human kindness is a very rare thing. I would like to disagree. The world has definitely changed, but so much stays the same. There will always be people who think only of themselves and what others can do for them, but there will also always be people who spend time with a mother who lost her son on Mother's Day, people who treat the handicapped just like anybody else, people who will take time out of their busy schedule to assist someone injured up a flight of stairs, people who will lay down their lives to help those they love. Those people do exist, and we are surrounded by them. We can be those people.
So remember that when you complain about how the world has gone to shit, you can do something about it. Show kindness, exhibit love, give encouragement. We don't do those things enough, and I am completely at fault for not doing my part. This has nothing to do with being righteous or working your way to Heaven - even if you don't believe in God, this applies to you. This is about the pursuit of happiness. Not just your own, but others' as well. Pursue someone else's happiness. Isn't it worth a little embarrassment to see a smile on a stranger's face?