Optimism in a dark time 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Seems all I have been seeing in my business feed are COVID-19 articles—what to do post-pandemic, preparing for the future, and how to work remotely. I am also seeing the drumbeat of headlines in our seemingly dark time of increased awareness of our country’s systemic racism, political divisions, a pandemic, and an economic recession moving quickly to (a) depression.

Are You Tired of COVID Articles? 

My usual weekend read is the online journal, Brain Pickings, by Maria Popova. Maria provides inspired writings and musings on philosophy, poetry, creativity, love, and other important and meaningful life topics. A recent post called to my youthful days of hope and optimism in the 60s—when we believed peace and love were the basis of bringing a world together to be a better place.

What struck me? Maria wrote about one of my favorite artists, David Byrne, describing him as a countercultural force of lucid and luminous optimism, kindred to Walt Whitman, who wrote so passionately about optimism as a mighty force of resistance and a pillar of democracy. She went on to describe a performance by Byrne of his song One Fine Day at the National Sawdust gala where he collaborated with The Brooklyn Chorus and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco.

So if you are tired of COVID articles and want to hear the power of music and words to bring a light of hope in this dark time, give One Fine Day a listen. Celebrate the courage to resist and fight the darkness of divisiveness, fear, and hatred with optimism, peace, and love can overcome despair.


written by David Byrne and Brian Eno


Saw the wanderin’ eye, inside my heart

Shouts and battle cries, from every part

I can see those tears, every one is true

When the door appears, I’ll go right through, oh

I stand in liquid light, like everyone


I built my life with rhymes, to carry on

And it gives me hope, to see you there

The things I used to know, that one fine


One fine day


In a small dark room, where I will wait

Face to face I find, I contemplate

Even though a man is made of clay

Everything can change that one fine —


One fine day


Then before my eyes, is standing still

I beheld it there, a city on a hill

I complete my tasks, one by one

I remove my masks, when I am done


Then a peace of mind fell over me —

In these troubled times, I still can see

We can use the stars, to guide the way

It is not that far, the one fine —


One fine day

Parker Lee

Parker Lee is the managing partner of Territory, a design consultancy, who has developed and led teams in transformation, design thinking, and business development for decades. Co-author of The Art of Opportunity, he has created and facilitated dozens of design and visual thinking engagements.

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