Cast your vote, then "cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you" (Psalm 55:22). As close as this election is, we can be sure that half of the people in this country will be disappointed with the results. Nonetheless, for the health of our country, we all need to look toward the future with hope and enthusiasm.

For our country—and for ourselves, also. It is appropriate that today's news includes a Dutch study confirming the positive health benefits of optimism. The nine-year study of nearly a thousand men and women between the ages of 65 and 85 found that an optimistic personality contributed significantly to reduced mortality. The effect was most dramatic when cardiovasculary mortality alone was considered. (The above link takes you directly to the Archives of General Psychiatry where the research was published. As might be expected, unfortunately, the news stories circulating differ vastly in accuracy, with some reporting the opposite of the true cardiovascular results.)

A research scientist can only say that the effect applies to the population studied: elderly people. It doesn't take much imagination, however, to expect that other studies will show similar benefits among more, and maybe all, populations.

There is much that is negative to concern us, even if our candidates are today's victors. We didn't need those horrible campaign ads to convince us of that. But we all need a good dose of appreciating the good, the true, and the beautiful, and of expecting the best out of life, rather than the worst. Then we will be in the right frame of mind to enjoy the best, if it comes, and to deal with the worst, if necessary.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, November 2, 2004 at 9:44 am | Edit
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I wrote this when I was all but certain that John Kerry would be the next president of the United States. But I wouldn't write anything different in light of the actual election results.

Posted by SursumCorda on Thursday, November 04, 2004 at 8:41 am
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