The Optimist, formerly Ode, is a print magazine about people, passion and possibilities changing our world for the better. I like to think of it as the antidote to today's culture of breaking news; the untold stories that are bound to make you feel better (and better informed) about the state of the planet. I'm a regular contributor and frequently explore the positive side of subjects that we typically perceive in a negative light.
In the September/October 2013 issue, I wrote about posttraumatic growth (PTG), the phenomenon of experiencing positive change in the wake of serious trauma. PTG doesn't question the validity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but empirically documents how traumas often lead to rewarding changes in mindset, profession, and relationships. Thank you to the active soldiers, war veterans, cancer survivors and scientists whom I interviewed while reporting on the story. PDF here.
In the July/August 2013 issue, I profiled Jay Harman (pictured above), a water enthusiast who used his natural observations of the ocean to create a frozen vortex that may revolutionize traditional industrial processes. Article here.
The first article I ever wrote for The Optimist, then Ode, was back in 2006 when I lived in the small town of Frisco in the Colorado Rockies. I worked as a newspaperman at the Summit Daily News and had the privilege of collaborating with a passionate photographer and wonderful man, Brad Odekirk, who went by "Ode" for short. I learned a lot about life, the mountains, and friendship from Ode. I also would learn about hardship and sadness, too, when Ode died in a tragic accident that left all of us in the community reeling. My then girlfriend, now wife, told me about an international publication called Ode that, as coincidence would have it, reported on positive stories and uplifting people in a spirit that matched what Brad had offered the world. I wrote a tribute piece about Ode for Ode that month and have been contributing to the magazine ever since.
Here are some of my other stories from The Optimist that you may enjoy:
- Plastic Fantastic: Want to clean up the environment? Learn to love plastic.
- The new black gold: Charcoal derived from burning plants can boost crop yields and fight climate change.
- Social entrepreneurs go mainstream: Why social entrepreneurs take economic
upheaval to be a blessing.
- How to Tame a Tornado