Optimists are positive, and pessimists are – well, more reserved in their judgments. For example, pessimists believe the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” is a train. An optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds – and a pessimist is afraid the optimist is right.
However, I believe there are blessings in curses if we look for them. Take, for example, the monument to the boll weevil in Enterprise, Alabama. It is believed to be the only monument to an insect. In 1915, the Mexican boll weevil destroyed sixty percent of the cotton in Coffee County. Since farmers only grew one crop, the result was catastrophic! However, what began as a curse ended as a blessing because it forced the farmers to diversify with an emphasis on peanuts. Then, just two years later, Coffee County harvested more peanuts than any county in the nation.
“The citizens were so ‘grateful’ for the boll weevil that they dedicated on December 11, 1919, a public marker on the main street of Enterprise with this inscription:
In profound appreciation
Of the boll weevil
And what it has done
As the herald of prosperity.”
Ronald Reagan observed, “Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy’s enemies have refined their instruments of repression.” James, the brother of Jesus, wrote:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2 – 4).