Jackie Gingrich Cushman

While we might be in the midst of turbulence and uncertainty in the financial markets, panic does not help, it simply freezes one’s ability to act and think. What we need now is to take stock of where we are, review the assets we have and move forward with optimism.

Instead of looking to blame others, we should look forward to what is to come. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president who led the country during World War II and is considered by many to be one of the greatest presidents in our nation’s history, said this during his fourth and final inauguration:

“I remember that my old schoolmaster, Dr. Peabody, said, in days that seemed to us then to be secure and untroubled, ‘Things in life will not always run smoothly. Sometimes we will be rising towards the heights – then all will seem to reverse itself and start downward. The great fact to remember is that the trend of civilization itself is forever upward; that a line drawn through the middle of the peaks and the valleys of the centuries has an upward trend.’”

This belief that, over time, one’s quality of life would trend upward provided Roosevelt with a constant and persistent optimism that served as a refuge during hard times. We too need to share this belief and focus on optimism. Our challenge is not to dwell on the bad time, but to focus on the good.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote at Warm Springs, Georgia, in 1945, shortly before his death, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”

This past week is a reminder that snapshots are just that, any of last week’s days could have indicated demise or euphoria. Instead of looking at static points we should focus on progress over time. Strong and active faith leads to optimism, and the ability to endure, persevere and to wake up each and every day ready try again.

At least that’s how I feel today, but then I’ve been asleep for 36 hours.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.