It’s difficult to be positive. In the times we live in and the events that are happening around us, it is hard to look at the glass half full. Not only that but it’s so easy to see the negative in anything. With people in the world starving, homeless, enslaved, dying, struggling through the wreckage of a decimated economy, it’s no reason being pessimistic is such an easy view to take on the world. But despite all those horrible atrocities, and many more, the most important thing for people to do is to be optimistic.
Now optimism is not just a mood someone is in because they just received their tax returns, or the person ahead of them paid for their coffee. No. Optimism is so much more. It is a concept based on positivity, it is outlook that relies on giving the benefit of a doubt, it is an ideology that inspires humans to be the best version of ourselves we can be. It doesn’t require one to be constantly chipper or always have a smile plastered on, but what is does demand is a certain state of mind that always focuses on the benefits of a situation and what can be done. With all the false concepts on what an optimist looks like, bright clothing, fixed smile, bubbly personality, it’s easy to become revolted by the idea of such liveliness and merriment, especially to those who typically do not behave in such a manner. But that isn’t what optimism and positivity is about. It is about doing something rather than deeming a cause hopeless. Optimism is about how you react to a situation and how that situation impacts you there on after.
If one adopts a positive outlook on life, everything her or she does or interacts with will inherently feel the effects of their positivity. For example, a manager who overseas his office and employees with pessimism is going to yield far less productivity than a manager who leads by positive example. No one ever enjoys talking with, working with, or interacting with a negative person. It is in our nature, as humans, to be more accepting of positivity in our lives because someone who is often optimistic is seen as an opportunity to grow and build connections. The only possible way to secure an optimistic future, is to teach the future leaders and people of the world to be optimistic, positive, and hopeful. Of course they will have to make changes, but with a positive attitude they can go about making changes in a much more efficient and effective manner. The true leaders and changers of the past have demonstrated these qualities in how they lead their people. Take Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for example. His entire motto was hope. “I Have a Dream” is probably his most famous speech ever given and the entire premise of it was his hope for a united future. King was an optimistic leader and because of that he was able to make such a significant impact on American culture. Successful leaders must have optimism that their desires and their dreams will be realized. You never come across a leader that says “Well, I have a dream but I doubt it will ever come true.” No one would follow that leader and no one would want to live in a future lead by him or her. Society needs optimism to grow and better itself.
Without the optimistic and hopeful, humankind has no purpose. It’s so easy to get down and declare “what’s the point,” but we can’t let ourselves see the world that way. Of course there is always a time and place to be optimistic and pessimism is warranted in some circumstances; for the man who enters the tiger cage is too much an optimist. But most things in life like going to school or work, paying taxes, and even smiling all have a purpose. They are all there for the betterment of the world and if people were to take a positive stance on those daily tasks, then the world would seem that much brighter.
Check out Bradshaw Mountain High School’s 2017 Valedictorian Speech
– B. Delamater