A speech about what optimism is to me:
A disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
The belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
The belief that goodness pervades reality.
The doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds”
“I believe that there is more to optimism. Someone must be optimistic to say that everything will turn out all right all the time, right? Not exactly. Plenty of painful and odious things happen in the world every day. So what is optimism if the belief of it is overruled? To me, optimism is making the best of what you get, even in a worst-case scenario.
“I have always felt that I was a lucky girl. I live a leisurely life with clean schools and communities, where the only misfortunes to head my way are occasional and minor. Many people have had a dog that has died to save them, or have had their parents get divorced, or have had their best friend move away. My last dog died when I was a year old. When my parents fight, they always make up. And none of my close friends have left me as long as I’ve known them. Maybe that’s because I was the one that left them.
“When my parents announced our departure in the April of 2008, I cried and I whined. I refused to go outside. And I cried and whined some more. While my brothers were willing to leave the old house, I stayed in my room as I moped and became sullen. I thought to myself, “Why do I have to go? I have been in the same place that I have been in for over seven years!”
“Three months later, we began to pack things in to the new house. At first I eluded helping the family by excusing myself to reading and cleaning, though eventually I gave in. I started to point out the negative things about the house. My room was smaller, most of the knickknacks were stored away, anything I would say just to make me feel better. I refused to see what was beneficial about leaving. My friends lived only ten minutes away, and I knew people at the other school, advantages not usually available to most moving children. In time I decided to myself, Why not just make the best of this? We can’t move back now, and a little sadness could be good for me.
“It turns out that it isn’t so bad where I am now. I made new friends, including teachers. I started reading more. My creative side showed more of itself and I used it. I exercised more often. I even understood fractions. If I had stayed where I was and had gone on with my life as before, I would not even be here today. My mood is content and I am proud that I have chosen to create the best of what I got in a seemingly worst-case scenario, and made one little lemon into lemonade. I am not saying that I am glad that I have left my closest friends and familiar home, just glad that I was hopeful that I wouldn’t weep away my life.
“I know that many dogs die, and many parents get divorced, and many best friends move away, but I want everyone to know that we can find a way to make the best of problems. Optimism isn’t just “The belief that good pervades reality.” Optimism is real. Optimism is our joy in times of sorrow. Optimism is about making the best of whatever happens to us, no matter what.”