Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Mrs. Optimist recently informed the Eternal Optimist that the last few posts have been "downers." "When," says Mrs. Optimist, "are you going to write something hopeful?"

As always when I receive clear direction from Mrs. Optimist, I hear and obey. Here is my revolutionary program for saving America. I call it "Fixing Everything," because I like to keep things low key and not promise too much.

FYI, you don't have to get elected or have $700 billion in spare change to do any of this.

In honor of the World Cup I have 11 points, arranged in a 4-3-3 formation.

Xavi. Anda Espana.

1. Reconcile yourself with God, and stay that way.

This one is first because it stands alone and comprehends all the other parts of the program. God already knows what works and what doesn't. Read Genesis 1-3. It is silly and unproductive to reinvent your world according to your rules. The reason it doesn't work is you are not God. All other advice is futile if you ignore this.

Stay in touch.

2. Marry the person God tells you to.

Arranged marriages are a good thing when God is doing the arranging.

3. Stay married and have plenty of children.

This fixes Social Security, health care and a host of other big scary issues in 25 years.

4. Focus on raising your children well.

Mrs. Optimist once told me "when you die from a heart attack, me and the kids will be at your funeral crying. At work they'll send flowers and in 2 days have someone behind your desk." The comment changed my life. Glad I listened to her.

5. Turn off the damn TV.

Seems obvious, but TV is brain, time and relationship sucker. Your children will be much happier, kinder people with very limited TV in their lives. So will you.

6. Exercise 5 days a week, get outside a lot, and eat your greens.

You do this and teach your kids this, it fixes health care in 25 years. We were designed to be outside, walking and talking., and eating things that grow. God didn't put a desk with a Dr. Pepper and a Moon Pie in the Garden of Eden.

7. Stay off the sauce.

Addictions are stupid, lethal and profoundly selfish. They are a search for chemical happiness provoked by separation from God. Sex, cocaine, alcohol, food, work, exercise - whatever. They used to be called idols. Now we call them addictions.

8. Get a practical education that helps you earn a living.

Avoid going in debt up the wazoo for an education. Save that for when you are fabulously wealthy and can afford it. As Al Franken once brilliantly put it, most people should not be chasing their dreams.

9. Work hard, save money, don't buy stuff on credit.

Work: good. Unemployment: bad. Savings: good. Hand to mouth: bad. Credit cards: good for Citibank, bad for you.

10. Be generous and kind.

You are hurtling at a high rate of speed toward a meeting with your maker. He likes kind people and dislikes the selfish. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" turns out to be very pragmatic advice about self-preservation. Read Matthew 25 and Luke 16. Fascinating.

Sheep and goats. Who knew?
Photo credit.

11. Vote for good people.

Good people are honest, kind, thrifty and hard-working. Imagine the U.S. Senate filled with people like this. I know, it's crazy. I'm trying to think outside the box here.


Well folks, there it is, 11 points to save America. I think my work here is done.

Now I have to watch Netherlands and Spain. What a game!!


  1. Spain was the better team, and Netherlands admitted it from the outset by their style of play. Disappointing to see Netherlands foul so much. De Jong should have received a red card for the kung fu tackle on Xabi Alonso. I must say Robben has irritated me with all the diving. Glad to see him stoned twice by Casillas, a great keeper, and then get a yellow card for whining to the ref.

  2. I was glad to see the quality of the refereeing improved even though the yellow cards seemed to be coming hot and heavy for awhile. As I'm newly converted to watching soccer I didn't get all the nuances but appreciated Spain's fluid game vs. the Dutch wrestling match.

  3. This is my favorite post to date!
    You have excelled beyond my imaginings.
    These points have been reaped through the soil of your life and I am quite grateful that you never 'threw in the towel' with any of these.
    Well done EO!

  4. Loved your advice and found it very helpful but failed miserably on #8 On #11 my pastor prayed this line this morning: "Give us leaders who are focused on the next generation and not on gettng reelected." SF

  5. Paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen: "I served with miserable failure, I knew miserable failure, miserable failure was a friend of mine. Reader, you're no miserable failure."