We can adversely affect the people around us with our attitude and the fears, uncertainty, and self-doubt those attitudes can instill in their hearts and minds.

If, as some parents do, we create an atmosphere of pessimism in the lives of our children and make them feel that the world is a hostile and unfair place in which they are doomed to fail we put them into the grip of defeatism from which they may never escape.

If we meet all of the hopes and dreams of our friends and family with skepticism and always deflate their enthusiasm with a constant barrage of negativism, we may very well cause them to lower their sights and fail to live their life to its full potential.

Some people like to reduce everyone else into silent acquiescence of their point of view by labeling all debate and contrary points of view as racism or sexism.   If you dare disagree with them or voice a different opinion you are discredited with one of these pejorative words.

Some religious leaders will preach the piety of acceptance but practice a policy of exclusionism because they have lost sight of the true meaning of the unity of mankind.

Sometimes we respond to the kind and helpful gestures of others with antagonism out of fear that they are not sincere.  We allow ourselves to become cynical and distrustful because we have lost faith in the altruism of other people.

Sometimes we seek to marginalize others with an attitude of elitism because we have come to believe that the only way we can elevate ourselves is to demean the people around us.  We, sometimes, forget that the best way to elevate ourselves is to be generous with our praise and encouragement so as to lift the spirits of other people.

There are times when we use favoritism to exclude people but we do so at the risk of creating resentment and anger that all too often leads to divisiveness.

There are times when we mock people who are motivated by idealism in the jaded belief that the world belongs to only those who live in the realm of realism.

Perhaps, the better approach is to live a life full of optimism and celebrate our shared humanism.