Helen Keller once wrote “No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
On April 25, 2020 the Pike National Historic Trail Association will convene (in most unusual circumstances) its Annual Board Meeting. Unusual because, unlike past years, the board will be conducting its business “virtually” maintaining social distancing practices to ensure the health and safety of all board members.
One can only imagine August 25, 1807 as a young Army Lieutenant Zebulon M Pike faced a very uncertain future as he and his men remain captives by the Spanish. Uncertainty. Now as then, uncertainty plays a role in our lives.
How does one prepare for an uncertain today or tomorrow?
The optimism Ms Keller promotes and Zebulon M. Pike practiced might be the key. General Henry Whiting, an early biographer of Zeb, wrote, “ … he is a boy of slender form, very fair complexion, gentle and retiring disposition but of resolute energy and optimism which he readily puts to combative test when the occasion arose.”
Another biographer W. Eugene Hollon proclaimed: “Already the child was father to the man. Stubborn and self-willed, his mind reached out toward the unknown with an ambition singularly steadfast. Although many in his day have better limbs and muscles, few, if any, possessed so stout a heart.”
Optimism opened up an uncharted land for Zebulon Pike and his men. Optimism today will open up a new heaven to the human heart, and like Hollon’s description of young Zeb, that heart must be stout.