August 1, 2014 - submitted by Isabel, Mexico

I have this optimistic feeling around me, where everything is possible even in the darker, difficult, uncomfortable moments of life. I'm telling you this because suddenly I realized that my family is awesome even when my parents aren't the best example of a couple. They had horrible arguments in front of us; my siblings were more affected on their behaviour than me.
Now, my brother, sister and myself are in a stage where we can say we have succeeded.
I'm so proud of them, the three of us have a degree or are about to get it, so I wanted to share with the whole world their achievements as I've heard stories of children that because of their loneliness they tend to forget their dreams. My siblings are a clear example of 'being hardworking brings you hope'.
That's why I want to ask, do you have a wonderful story which makes you be proud of everyone who is around you?
Maybe my story and my question could sound silly or not enough interesting but I believe the world needs to hear or read more hopeful stories rather than harmful ones.

The Oracle replies:

I chose this question because there is so much happening in the world right now that I cannot comprehend. I felt it right to pick something positive.
With that in mind, there are so many people I am proud of - some I know, some I don't - that I can't list them all.
To (not) name a few, I am proud of anyone who has:
Faced adversity and overcome it.
Ignored prejudice and judgement.
Stood up for their beliefs.
Stood up for the rights of others.
Campaigned for the greater good.
Raised awareness for something that needs to be known.
Tried their best - that's all any of us can do.
Pursued their dreams.
Lived life to the full.
If I have to name one person, I am proud of myself.
Over to you.

There needs to be more people like you in this world! I to have parents who tend to fight a lot and they do it in front of me and my siblings. Although it is not a good thing, and I strongly oppose it, I truly believe that it has made myself and my siblings stronger people and advocates for (in my personal opinion) this kind of mental abuse. I can share my experiences with other people and learn from theirs. You can either be apart of the problem or apart of the solution. So I became apart of the solution by not letting the emotional turmoil swallow me up and spit me back out into society as someone who couldn't contribute to it in a positive way. I plan on going to school to become an art teacher and my siblings are both volunteer firefighters who pour their heart and soul into doing what they love. You could say that we're doing we'll for ourself despite our setbacks and all it takes is a little determination and hard work. From the bottom of my heart, I can say that I'm so proud of everyone around me.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful success story. It feels great to be able to share mine.
Brittany, Gilbertsville PA.

Yes, I have wonderful stories about many people- those who are close to me and some who are strangers. I'm thrilled to hear that you are so proud and optimistic.
You did not succeed by your own actions. Your parents did not have a parenting manual in how to raise their children. Chances are, if you ask them, they wanted to provide for you what your grandparents would or could not provide for them. Parents are not perfect people, nor should they be placed on pedestals. They do the best that they can, they make mistakes, they have feelings of doubt, sadness and anger. They make huge sacrifices on behalf of their children. Think back on your life so far and of your siblings, what sacrifices did your parents make so your lives would be better. Those sacrifices were chosen because of the unconditional love they have for all of you.
I hope your parents have shown you their open hearts -even with the tough times, they still love you and would do anything for you. Don't judge them harshly. Open your heart and give them compassion, empathy and unconditional love in return.
Your success is their success as well.
Please be mindful, thoughtful, compassionate, empathetic and unconditional in loving.
Enjoy the fruits of your labors, and remember to pay it forward.
Best to you, and your family. Julie.

As the saying goes, "Life is what you make it out to be." Even some of the most frightening or sad moments can change someone for the best. While the darker times aren't negotiable, optimism is a choice. Of course, sometimes it is harder said than done. I am proud of those around me every moment of the day. Sounds corny, but it's true. As long as I can remember I have had anxiety. Not only have my family encouraged me to conquer my fears and live my life, but they have helped me deal with the utter disappointment I have felt over missing out on opportunities. From something as simple as going to see bands live, (like Coldplay and Nickelback in Melbourne a few years ago!) to acting, I even gave up my swimming and competitions! I was unable to convince myself to go, no matter how much of my body and soul was willing me to go. I am proud of those around me for helping me through these times, not being frustrated with me and over all, for giving me new opportunities to overcome my fears. While things might be tough, family and friends to support you is all you need. I'm now starting acting and will be swimming in summer, all thanks to my amazing family! I feel I should share a quote too, so here is a quote from the late, yet immortal in our hearts, Christopher Reeve: "Once you choose hope, anything's possible."
Shannen, Australia.

My story isn't a lot different from yours actually. My parents almost divorced close to a year ago. My brother and I got closer than ever at that point because we knew that if our parents got a divorce we were the only ones there for each other to comfort one another. My mum and I didn't have the best relationship ever and I didn't want her to stress out more than she already did, so I kind of set it aside. The family was torn apart, I don't think that we even had a family to be brutally honest. I was depressed, my brother was out all night, my mother was always angry and my father alone. I didn't have any hope for the family and I lost my spark, and my dreams were destroyed. One day, the family got together to convince my mother to travel back to the KSA with us (since we stay the summer holiday in Egypt) and it went unexpectedly well. My mother and father slowly learnt to live together as I slowly recovered from depression (thanks Coldplay) and my brother spent more time with the family. I was very proud of the family because we grew together and learnt that we all have flaws. Despite the fact that my mother and father aren't the cutest and loveliest of couples (just like your parents), they are doing pretty good I'd say compared to a couple of years back. I am proud of everything we've accomplished because if it wasn't for that I wouldn't have been the person I am today. Cheers! Solaf.

" Life throws those colourful challenges on you "
Love this sentence so much and the Zane Lowe interview. I am proud I found Coldplay for the band of my life cause they are writing the soundtrack of my life and I cannot imagine a world without them.
My life wasn't and is not that easy. I got a disease when I was 11 and I was more than one time at the brink of life.
So I love the Ghost Stories message " Don't ever let go" so much that I got a tattoo.
I am also and most proud of my mum who teached me this as well. "Never give up". She is the most important person in the word to me and Julia , a wonderful friend, too. They are always there for me and SURPRISE, they are Coldplayers as well. I infected my mum. :D
Kind regards. Much love from Germany!! Maren.

They say that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift and that is true, today I am thankful for so many things, I truly believe that things happen for a reason and every mistake that I've made have been for a greater meaning,a lesson, so I'd like to tell everyone that I'm happy and proud for my family especially my sisters, we are five really hardworking women with empowerment for facing every problem in the best way, we take care of each other, we share dreams and goals. We've overcome dreadful illness... We also have a degree or are about to get it and that full me of joy! A lawyer, a fashion designer, a teacher, a doctor, and a P.R.!
Mary, Bella, Isabel, Budy and my mother Isabel are my life and I love them no matter what, I am here to remind everyone that true love exist because I feel it for my sisters! Stephanie.

Experiencing the 2nd time in a very short time, someone will die of cancer. I am grateful for all I have and I wish everybody that suffers and their family and friends to regain strength from the beauty of life. Coldplay's music makes me cry today, but tomorrow it might again make me smile. Be grateful for your life. Stay positive. Live in the now. Love. Give. Share. Tanja.

You are absolutely right! The world could definitely do with some more hopeful and happy stories. I'm glad you took the time to share yours with us:-) My wonderful story goes like this: When I was little I used to struggle with mathematics and grammar at school. So when all the other kids were playing outside, I had to stay in and make extra assignments in order to keep up. My teachers said there was no other solution to my 'problems', but I was miserable and hated going to school. My parents decided to sent me to a school for children with learning disabilities, despite all the criticism they got from the people around them. I had the time of my life there and my parents always supported and believed in me. Now, 15 years later, I'm about to graduate from university and my learning disabilities are nowhere in sight. My parents have always worked hard to achieve things in life and I'm proud to be their daughter. My favourite phrase comes from a brilliant(in my opinion) author named Douglas Adams: "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be". Amanda.

A young single mother of two girls makes the decision to lift herself away from familiar, but bad influences, leaving behind friends and bad choices. Using her strength to make conscious choices rather than just letting life happen to her. Purposefully moving herself and her daughters to a place of stability along with surrounding herself with gentleness in her home, boundaries in relationships, and no compromise in self-respect transformed her reality in a wonderful way. I find myself in awe of the way my little sister has orchestrated her life by the tough choices she has made- she is nothing short of bold and brave.
The little girl, that threatened to "tell mom" if I did not let her tag along, now is the woman that encourages me to speak my truth, to honor my sensitivity, and laughs at all my jokes. Her strength makes me fearless.
Over the years my sister has taught me that sometimes you make choices and sometimes choices make you. You can choose to rise above situations, be courageous and choose the life path you were born for. Count your demons, even if you call them friend or lover, then look them straight in the eye and tell them "I choose Me!"
Be Well - Be Blessed - Be Yourself (everyone else is already taken).
I am Me and I choose to Shine!
Dani USA.

I am pleased that this is such a positive assignment. I can only think of one thing that sticks in my mind. A few years back my daughter was trying to help a friend who was wrestling with a decision. She was pregnant and her boyfriend was pressuring her to abort her baby. She really did not want to abort, my daughter talked to her about other options. Since she is adopted, this led to her telling this girl her child could have a great life, she said, like hers was. As a struggling single parent back then this was music to my ears. My child was happy despite all our setbacks and obstacles. I was so proud of her that day and still am today. I have no way of knowing what this girl did but I am happy knowing my child felt her life was so worthwhile. Laurie.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.