In these unsettled and unsettling times, should we be optimistic or pessimistic? As a longtime pessimist, I like this thought: "Pessimism is about analysis of the situation. Optimism is about the orientation of the spirit." Or said another way (as the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci did), "Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will."
As spring arrives and lifts our spirits, we can be reminded that we must have an orientation of hope and optimism, while being ruthless about projections and deciding what ought to be done.Â In these times, too, we come to appreciate even more our partners in thinking through it all. Let's take a moment to say "thank you" to our co-workers, family members, board members, and friends with whom we've been able to chew on the problems.
This issue of Blue Avocado includes a 3-minute hike in Utah (whee!), a comprehensive guide to including volunteer time in financial statements, and an Ask Rita column about downsizing employees into independent contractors. Not to mention a guest Board Cafe column on devil's advocates.
By the way, I'm speaking on March 16 in Chicago through the Donors Forum, and doing a webinar on Friday, March 20, at noon (Pacific time) on board recruitment. And next issue look for a debate on whether there are too many nonprofits! –Jan Masaoka
P.S. It's vodka in that glass. 🙂