Newspaper Article: “The Gift of Optimism”

Here is the article from my column which was printed in August, 2010 in the local newspaper…

The Gift of Optimism

Brian Mickelson

August 2010

It is really nice about to be around an optimistic person. It’s refreshing. Everything looks better when they put their spin on things, and so you tend to feel better about whatever situation you’ve gotten yourself into after you’ve asked for their opinion. Honestly, some people are just gifted to the point where almost any event has a silver lining. We’re probably all better because of the gift of a few, happy-go-lucky individuals.

But can a person go to far with the rose colored glasses? Is there such a thing as trying too hard to see the glass as half full?

A recent story on (, July 25, 2010) ended with this line: “Aside from the stabbing, the convention has proceeded without incident so far”.

“Aside from the stabbing”? Wow. That’s quite a take on the convention. A guy was stabbed by an attacker, in the eye no less, and yet the report is that the convention proceeded basically without incident.

In that case, I earned a 4.0 GPA in college when you don’t take into account the 23 classes I failed, dropped out of, or forgot that I signed up for.

The family reunion went off without a hitch, other than the extended family-wide outbreak of food poisoning that sent every adult and two-thirds of the children to the hospital with severe dehydration and delirium.

The city was a quaint, peaceful and mundane place to live in, if you don’t count the weekly drive-by-shootings, countless armed robbery attempts, decade-long leak from the local nuclear power plant, and the ever-present fear of the mafia by almost every person living within ten miles of the city offices.

The surgery went exactly as planned–in fact, it was basically flawless–unless you take into account the fact that the surgeon amputated the wrong arm…and had the wrong patient. Also, the surgeon wasn’t actually a surgeon. He was an accountant.

You’ll love this dog. He’s the perfect house pet and hasn’t been a problem at all, as long as you’re comfortable with huge spots on every carpet in your house, your children living in a near-constant state of terrible panic, and are up to date on your rabies shots. Oh, and when I said “dog”, I meant “wolf”. You’ll love this wolf.

And lastly, this article is one of the most enjoyable, relaxing, entertaining and straightforward articles you’ve read in a long time, as long as you turn a blind eye to the obnoxious sarcasm, grating cynicism, coma-inducing boredom, and all-to-frequent use of hyphens…


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