It was a busy news week, with the first Liberal budget, the death of Rob Ford, the acquittal in Jian Ghomeshi's first sexual-assault trial, terror attacks in multiple countries and U.S. President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba.

It was a big-picture kind of week, so we asked readers a big-picture question: Are you optimistic or fearful about Canada and the world?

Commenters let us know in today's CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion about topics of national interest. Here's some of what they had to say.

(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the comment in the blog format.)

"What is there to be optimistic about? More terrorism? Coming inflation?" — Reality

"I am fearful of the gradual but relentless creep of corporate power over the democratic process. Inevitably this process must end with a dystopian world in which people have no privacy, freedom or democracy." — Edmontonian

"Until someone can reasonably explain how countries like the U.S. and Canada are going to pay their debts, I have no expectations for our economy in the future. We are being bankrupted by golden pensions which are given to the majority of the retirees in Canada." — captgec

"I'm neither optimistic nor fearful. Humans are changeable creatures and we change the world around us constantly.  That was true for our x-times-great grandparents and it's true for us as well. I think that on the whole there tends to be more good change than bad change. Rob Ford died of cancer this week, but I had cancer in 2013 and a recurrence in 2014 and I survived. A century ago my chances of survival would have been considerably lower." — Rosie

​"I am apprehensive, not fearful. I have faith that we are capable of rising up to any man-made challenge. We are a clever and resourceful species. Christianity preaches that we must turn the other cheek and embrace our enemies. That is still the solution, and our eventual salvation. Good luck to all of us." — Vernon

"I'm concerned but steadfastly optimistic. I see everywhere two significant social changes happening. I see a move away from materialism with a better understanding of the difference between need and want. I also see a growing awareness of the fundamental destructive effects of religion and a growing understanding of the need to drive it out of secular affairs. All good." — Dennis Brady

"Fearful? About what? I am very optimistic. The world has never in its history been this safe, especially in Canada. Nothing is for sure; live your life that way. I hear people that cancel trips because of the latest tragedies. Mathematically it is more probable that something will happen on the drive to church on Sunday than to be a victim of terror." — Lyleb

"I think one trick in sustaining optimism, which is the most efficient fuel for change, is to focus on what each of us can do in our lives. From riding a bike to using fewer toxic products and sharing what we have with other people and other nations, we make a start." — Pundit bear

You can read the complete discussion below, including tweets from CBC Radio One's Cross Country Checkup, which dealt with the same topic Sunday afternoon.



Can't see the forum? Click here. 

With files from Cross Country Checkup