"When all the world's problems are solved, is optimism still necessary?"
This was the thought-provoking question Fort Wayne South Side Optimist Club Oratorical Contest committee members posed to area students earlier this year. Students were given several weeks to compose their 800-word essays before presenting them to a panel of judges on Tuesday, March 12. Canterbury Middle School student Stella VandeWater ('24) was named a Club Level Winner and is being considered for a District Level Winner title and a $2,500 scholarship.
This question also served as the inspiration for one of Mrs. Hamilton's graded writing assignments this quarter. Students worked diligently on their independent research – referring to some of their favorite authors, as well as current social studies topics and events – and on honing their thoughts. Once completed, students were not required to participate in the contest, but they were encouraged to do so if they felt comfortable.
Competing in the contest alongside Stella were fellow Grade 7 students Delores Federspiel, Emma Murphy, and Safiya Thomas. Each student was brave in sharing their perspectives with the larger community, and we're proud of them. A job well done to these young women, as well as to each Canterbury student who shared their own act of bravery this year!
You can read Stella's complete essay below!
Does the World Need Optimism?
Optimism, being confident about a future or successful outcome. Without optimism, all the people would be unhopeful and pessimistic. Optimism can help people stay healthy and make good life decisions. If all the world's problems were solved, there would still be a need for optimism.
Optimism is used in every single day. To being confident about a sporting event, or being able to do something requires optimism. Optimism helps people feel like something is possible. Even if the world's problems were solved, everyday life would create personal problems, unique to each person. Optimism can help overcome those problems. If a person was injured, their family and friends would be optimistic and be confident that the person will recover in great condition. Optimism is contagious, and the optimism can help the injured person be hopeful for a good and quick recovery. Optimism is needed for everyday problems.
Without optimism, the world would be full of pessimistic people. They would always see the glass empty rather than a glass half-full. This would make the world a dreary place. People would be rude to each other and say that they can not do something, or point out the flaws of a person and make them feel bad. Pessimistic people would be unwilling to try something new. If everybody was a pessimist, the world would not make any new advancements technologically, or socially. The entire world might fall apart because world leaders might not get along, and wars could start because a leader was rude to another leader. Without optimism, the world's system could crash.
A world without optimism would slowly break down. Without anyone daring to try and fix any cars, buildings, or necessary machines, the world's problems could come back, and no one would be optimistic enough to try and solve them. Optimist people are confident that they can get the job done. However, in a world without optimism, where everyone is pessimistic, no one would try to fix anything because they are too scared to try and fail. A kid's nature is to be curious. In a world with no optimism, they would not be able to have any fun because no one would let them do anything daring or exciting. This is because they will always see the kid getting injured or worse. A kid living in a world with zero optimism would be depressing and gloomy.
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." This quote by Winston Churchill means that the optimists will always find a new path while the pessimist will just be satisfied with the life they have and not take any risks to improve it. Optimism helps us move along in life. There are times when someone reaches a crossroad in life and have to make an important decision. If they are optimistic, they would make the decision that would give them a chance to advance them forward. However, if they are a pessimist, they most likely would make the choice that would do them no good, or make a bad decision that might come back to haunt them later. Having an optimist attitude or point of view will help someone push through their own problems and help them live a better and happier life. If something does not go their way, an optimist will see that failure as a way to improve and move onto bigger and better ideas.
Being optimistic helps a person be healthy. Dwelling on negatives and being pessimistic is not. Optimists are generally more happy and less stressed out. In a study, researchers from the University of Illinois found out that people who were more optimistic were 76% more likely to have a healthy score in an ideal range. They are less likely to make decisions that could harm their health, and possibly lead to death.
Even if all the world's problems are solved, optimism is still necessary in everyone's daily lives. Optimism is needed to improve health and lifestyle. Being optimistic lets a person see opportunities in problems. It also allows people to take chances and see new ways to do things. Kids are also able to live a fun lifestyle without their parents fretting over every little thing that could go wrong with what they do. Without optimism the world would move at a snail's pace because no one would be willing to try anything because they are afraid of trying.
The 5 Benefits of Being Optimistic. Entrepreneur, 2015. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246204. Accessed 7 Feb. 2019