We have all been through a lot. And yet … As vaccines roll out across the country and the weather warms in many places, people are feeling something they haven’t felt in a while: optimism, rising like the sun after a long, cold night. So, how appropriate is it that March is actually National Optimism Month?

“Where focus goes, energy flows.” You may have heard that before — it’s a quote from Tony Robbins, whom I’m a big fan of. It’s a fact that negativity leaves us drained with no idea where we’ll get the energy to push forward. But if I accentuate the positive, I find my energy returning as I look at the bright side. And I know others can, too. I also know it’s not easy. Optimism is like a muscle, and if we don’t use it often, it can lose some of its strength. But no matter how weak that muscle may feel, it’s never gone completely, which means it’s never too late to start using it. Don’t know how? This is where another topic really comes into play: gratitude. See, in my experience, gratitude is the gateway to optimism. It may feel silly to count your blessings when you’re feeling down — in fact, it may feel downright impossible! But it isn’t. I promise. Just bring to mind the things in your life that are good — family, friends, and accomplishments or victories (no matter how small). You can also just look around and try to enjoy the environment. Even in a crowded office, you might see a nice color over here or a funny poster over there. Sometimes I try to find a nice thing to think about each person I see. Before I know it, I’m flexing that optimism muscle.

Now, I know all this talk about optimism might seem ironic coming from a lawyer; sometimes it seems like all we do is dwell on the worst possible outcomes. But I try to prepare for those things and then move on because it’s my job to put clients in a better position than before — and that includes their outlook and attitude. If I’m not optimistic, how can I ask a client to be? At the same time, my clients are some of the most optimistic people I’ve ever met! I’ll talk to a man whose house burned to the ground, and he smiles and says, “I’m just glad nobody got hurt!” It’s hard to be a pessimist when I meet people who have every right to be negative but just keep looking on the bright side of life.

At the end of the day — literally — I want to leave the world better than I found it. At home, once a week, my family and I go around the table at dinner and say what we’re thankful for. No matter what, I can always give thanks for my job — where people come to me, and I get to help them. It’s not just about winning a case, either. If you need something, like finding a counselor or psychiatrist or figuring out what the scary letters from the insurance company really mean, Whisler Law Firm is here to assist you.

And sometimes, that help is just a letter like this telling you things are going to get better, that now is the time to keep fighting. You have reserves of will and optimism inside of you that nobody would have guessed. We’re in this together, and we’ve toughed it out this far. Thinking like this is the best way to celebrate National Optimism Month.

– Josh Whisler



We consider ourselves community members in every sense of the word. Several years ago, Tamara Dawes, a woman in our community, lost her daughter in tragic circumstances that nevertheless brought her into our offices. Tamara has taken her daughter’s precious memory and her name and begun a foundation focused on educating at-risk people about human trafficking. We are happy to feature Tamara in this issue and are so proud to know hardworking people like her.

Tamara’s M J Scarlett Foundation (look them up on Facebook!) provides awareness training, public and private education, and many other services that help people avoid human trafficking — a problem endemic to South Florida. Many people feel like they aren’t at risk for human trafficking, but that isn’t the case. In the United States, the vast majority of victims are youths between the ages of 12 and 17, making children a particular point of interest for Tamara.

She also knows that being homeless makes many in our community vulnerable, and the M J Scarlett foundation also tries to help the homeless population in any way it can. When you’re on the street, offers of food or a warm place to sleep can entice people into bad situations, and that’s something Tamara works with local organizations to prevent.

But the scariest number Tamara cites is “1%” — the percentage of human trafficking victims who are rescued. Recovering these people is important, but the fact is that it’s very hard to do. Instead, the focus has to be on education. Right now, that education is taking place online via Zoom — read on for info on how to attend!

In order to do this work, Tamara Dawes has received human trafficking credentials, youth mental health certifications, and other credentials — in addition to her own master’s and pending doctorate degrees! We’re so proud to have someone like her in our community and especially in the Whisler family. Please look up the foundation on Facebook or find them at MJScarlettFoundationInc.org and get educated on the perils our children face. Then, join Whisler Law Firm and get involved!


“Great law firm. They helped me settle a case that had been going on for a long time. John at the firm kept it moving along, even during the pandemic. Thanks for the help!”

–Nathan N.

“We hired The Whisler Law Firm to help us with an insurance claim. They were incredibly professional and thorough. They really understood the situation and were able to guide us to a satisfactory settlement to help us with our unfortunate circumstances. By holding our hands throughout the process, my wife and I felt very comfortable. Thank you for your help!”

–Darren S.

“Great experience with Whisler Law Firm. Josh Whisler and his firm took  great care of me and my home. Very professional and worked diligently with my insurance company to get me the funds I needed to fix up my home. Highly recommend Josh Whisler and his firm. Thanks!”

–Evan M.