Bill & Melinda Gates understand optimism

From their commencement speech at Stanford, which is all about innovation, empathy and optimism:

Optimism for me isn’t a passive expectation that things will get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better – that whatever suffering we see, no matter how bad it is, we can help people if we don’t lose hope and we don’t look away.

Optimism is a reason to do something. Pessimism is an excuse to do nothing.

Father’s Day Eve

I spent the entire day alone with Hudson today. We colored, played trains, had lunch, watched yesterday’s stage of the Dauphiné and then he helped me (seriously) mow the lawn, pull dandelions and fix the sandbox wall. This is a milestone: it’s the first time one of my kids was actually useful in helping me do work — until now, their “help” always made more work for me.

The best part was that as we worked, he asked me a bunch of questions about why I use this tool, why I did things a certain way, how things work, etc. I felt like my dad because I used to do the same thing to my dad while he worked. My dad’s willingness to answer my questions nurtured in me a lifelong habit of asking questions. I believe that has helped me immeasurably in life. I am happy to be able to pass this on to my kids.