Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

How do we know about other people’s lives apart from the mainstream narratives reported in the news?

Perhaps by traveling or reading blogs — although the former is proving difficult with COVID-19.

Joost and 4 co-founders have come up with another option. They created Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global developments. They are optimistic that sharing personal experiences helps to better understand one another and to bring us closer together again.

Today I’ll share Joost’s, Janosch’s, and Mira’s very own story of how they…


Photo by tabitha turner on Unsplash

The pandemic comes at a great price for actors and artists around the world. How can you remain optimistic in the face of possible health and existential worries and the inability to carry out your profession and passion? In this article, Alys talks about her lockdown experiences and why any act of creation is profoundly optimistic.

From Scottish dancing to mezzo-soprano

Alys is a professional actress and theatre-maker from the UK. Since she was trained at the internationally renowned school of Jacques Lecoq she has performed in numerous theatres across the UK and beyond. This portrayal, however, does not do justice to her creative mind…


Old lady with a treasure of knowledge.
Old lady with a treasure of knowledge.
Picture by De Visu on Shutterstock

What do the Philippines, many Native Americans tribes, Japan, Zimbabwe and Greece have in common?

They all share cultural values of appreciation and respect for age. „Mano po“ is a Filipino honouring gesture to show respect when addressing someone older. Thereby the younger person bends over and places the older person’s hand on his/her forehead. Numerous Native American legends testify to the deeply rooted respect for elders by featuring wise old people with good advice, such as the legend of Iyash and Old Lady Fox about a hero passing a strange test to earn the advice of a wise elder.


Photo by PKpix on depositphotos

She has been deemed “unteachable” in high school and is now on a mission to advocate a new educational philosophy. What drives someone with such an essential but challenging goal? What keeps her going? Sue Ellen shares her personal story and why every single day at work can make all the difference.

Back in L.A. in the 1990s

The story begins in Long Beach, L.A., in the 1990s when gang-related crime and violence saw a tremendous surge in this area. For the majority of the young students of a class at Wilson High School, homework and test scores were the least of their worries. …


Picture provided by Aline.

“Define your goals.”
“Prioritize.”

“Set deadlines.”

We are often told that we achieve our goals through perfect planning. It should enable us to use our time most efficiently and to work towards our 3- or 5-year goals.

But does perfect planning and seemingly almost complete control over things leave room for personal development? What if we cannot foresee everything or what if something goes wrong? A personal development that you try to manage through maximum planning may turn out to be rather stressful and exhausting.

What if we replaced a little planning with trust? It might sound a bit scary…


The start of “Expedition Canada 150” ©Philippe Roberge

Starting a journey of more than 8000 km based on 150 dollars and the generosity of strangers sounds a bit scary and crazy. Ori and a friend decided to do just that and share what this experience has taught them about being optimistic.

One day, two students from Canada realized that they did not know 99% of their country. On the occasion of the 150th birthday of Canada, they decided to change something about that. Shortly afterward they started their project “Expedition Canada 150”. This expedition stretched from Whitehorse, Yukon, on the west coast of Canada to St. John’s, Newfoundland…


Image provided by Bryan

Poverty and becoming a scientist are unfortunately often far apart. Bryan has experienced this first hand but nevertheless remains optimistic for future generations of minority scientists. Because he knows that sometimes one person is enough to make all the difference.

Bryan from the United States is — amongst many other things — a PhD candidate in immunology. A dream that at times seemed unrealistic and unattainable considering the place where he grew up. …


©JL, photo provided by author.

Gabi, from Spain, told me that she feels optimistic because of nature. Initially, I was a bit confused by that answer. Does the present way in which mankind treats nature not rather give rise to pessimism? But what Gabi meant is something much more profound.

Miracle nature

I feel optimistic when I think at the environment because it seems to me like a miracle. How everything is working, the nature is wisdom.

Perhaps you have experienced yourself a situation in which you faced, for example, an infinite panoramic landscape and simply felt awe. Be it the sight of fjords, mountains, deserts, the…


©JL

We all have experienced the feeling of a door being slammed right into our face. What does this have to do with optimism, you might ask.

Katti is truly passionate about positive psychology — a spirit that reflects in her answer to the question of what makes her optimistic. She particularly likes one aspect of the idea of optimism: to be optimistic things don’t always have to go smoothly. Check out her take on it:

The door has closed

A well-known saying goes: “When one door closes, another opens.”

When disappointment is spreading and you find yourself being drawn into one negative thought loop…


Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. © JL

Mornings or evenings, whether you are online or offline, at home or on the road — news is all around us, on various channels. However, you might forget to have a look at the most exciting news channel of all. Octavian brings the attention back to what we are overlooking.

It all began with 150 hectares of rainforest in the far north of New Zealand and the realization that it was too cold to grow orange and olive trees there. Instead Octavian decided to found the Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary at this place, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection…

Lea Loesch

I am a sociologist in the making, currently located in Amsterdam and exploring the various sides of optimism @ https://callforoptimism.com/.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store