I believe in Optimism

Fernando - Chandler, Arizona
Entered on May 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of optimistic thinking. This world is filled with so many problems these days that so many people find it hard to hope for the best. In a world filled with negativity, people ask themselves, “Why should I hope for the best when it is not going to happen?” Well, the answer is quite simple: if we do not look forward to anything then we will have no ambitions or goals to do anything. If we always see the bad in situations, we will never be able to appreciate the many good things in life. That, and statistically, optimistic people live longer than pessimistic people. My grandfather was living proof of this.

My grandfather Fernando was always an optimistic person despite the fact that he lived one of the most difficult lives anyone could live. He was one of eight brothers and sisters. His family lived in a tiny one-bedroom hut in central Mexico. Yet he always enjoyed life. He would tell me stories about how he would have rock-throwing contests with his siblings to pass the time. He had almost nothing, but he made everything out of it. As he got older, he met my grandma. Unfortunately for him, my grandma’s family did not want them to be together and they moved away to make sure of it. My grandpa was heartbroken but he always believed that he would meet my grandma again. Sure enough, seven years later, they met up at a train station in Mexico City. They were both single and they got married. Despite these early triumphs for my grandpa, more hardships were still ahead. However, he never put his head down.

My grandparents moved to Tijuana to settle down and start a family. Once again, though, they were constrained by lack of resources and money. My grandpa decided to build a house with his own hands. He set up a blacksmith shop nearby to support the family. His family and the society of Mexico told him that he could not do it. They told him that he would not succeed. All of the odds were against him but he still had hope that some good would come.

During his final years, my grandpa became crippled. He had an infarction in both of his legs and had to have them removed. This essentially crippled him from work forever. He was in and out of the hospital constantly but he always had a smile on his face. He saw his “handicap” as an opportunity to spend more time with his family. He never talked about death or suffering around anyone. It was almost as if he was not sick at all. To his dying day, he always had a smile on his face and a positive outlook on life. Through his optimism, he mad others around him happy and hopeful.

Optimism has the power to do so much not only for the individual, but for others as well. I believe that everyone should learn from my grandpa’s example and always find the good in every situation. My grandpa succeeded because he was optimistic. He made himself and others happy because he was optimistic. My grandpa never really died. He lives on in our memories because of the joy and optimism he brought to everyone.