Monday, October 8, 2012

Roadtrip Shows Americans 'Unyieldingly Optimistic'

Ignore the polls that say Americans don't like the direction the country is going, says an optimist in a recent USA Today column.

This summer, I set out in a minvan with my husband and two kids to check the nation's pulse, to meet with dozens of people who are on the front lines, dealing with community problems from hunger to homelessness, from unemployment to the lack of affordable health care.

I expected to find people defeated from a long effort to deal with the most brutal recession in our lifetimes. 

What I found, instead, were people taking the future into their own hands and shaping it with effort and creativity.

One of the examples:

After 5,500 miles in 14 states, I'm hard pressed to remember meeting anyone who was not an optimist.

In Buffalo, N.Y., Britney McClain led me through PUSH Buffalo's Green Development Zone, where a bunch of 20-somethings are transforming a declining neighborhood by renovating homes with green technology and planting lush community gardens.

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