Katie - Lenoir City, Tennessee
Entered on January 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in optimism. I think I have finally realized that life is a positive experience. I believe that if we want to lead a happy life, all we have to do is see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Some may think that this idea seems stupid or cheesy. I really think that a little optimism can go a long way. When I get old, I don’t want to look back at my life and think, “Did I really affect anyone in a positive way? Did all that stress end up benefitting me or anyone else…at all?” No, instead I would much rather be able to look back at a life that was filled with happy memories, not sad ones.

I want people to realize that one person’s positive attitude can spread into a huge movement of happiness. Think about it: if one person walks into a room and is in a really good mood, and another person in the room is in a horrible mood, more than likely the positive person’s attitude will rub off on the negative person. So now there are two positive people and if they both leave the room they are in, they will probably encounter more negative people. If the two positive people’s attitudes rub off on all the negative people they bump into, eventually everyone in the world would end up with a positive attitude. Personally, I would much rather affect people positively with my attitude than be marked as someone negative or judgmental.

If we all are doing what we love to do and not spending our time judging everyone else, then maybe our world would be a more fun place to be. Five years ago, when I was in fifth grade, we studied astronauts. My teacher asked the class why we thought astronauts would want to go to the moon. Obviously, she was looking for an answer like, “because they can learn about other planets easier if they visit the moon.” Well, now that I’ve thought about it, I’ve come up with my own, slightly different response. I think astronauts want to go to the moon because they are trying to get the heck off of earth for a while and go somewhere peaceful. After all, nobody can bother you if you’re 24,000 miles away from them. In my experience, being judgmental has gotten me nowhere. I have come to the conclusion that nobody chooses how they are born; nobody chooses who their family is, what race they are, what sexual orientation they follow, or what activities they will enjoy. I believe that people are born the way they are because that’s the way they are meant to be. I think that if we accept each other for who we really are then we will all be happier, both with ourselves and our peers.

Why is it that when I was a child, I was so open and positive? Why did I grow out of it? I know I could benefit from acting like a child every now and again. When I was little, I remember being so happy. Not only some days, like I am now, but always. I often think about how when I was younger I wished I was an adult. Now that I’ve grown more, and am caught awkwardly in between youth and adulthood, I find myself wishing for both. For some reason it seems that you either have to be a little kid or an adult to be happy. When I’m swamped at school, I wish I was a kid, still stuck in that phase when you are excited to do homework at night. When my parents won’t trust me with a big responsibility or I want to be more independent, I wish I could somehow skip the next few years and magically form into adulthood, when I wouldn’t have to listen to anyone but myself.

Negativity has taught me so many lessons about who I am and who I hope to become in the future. Positivity, on the other hand, has taught me so much more. Nobody can be happy and positive all the time, but I believe that I should try just a little harder to reach the goal of being an optimist. Maybe that would make everyone happier. I believe that I can be happy if I don’t let the little things get to me. I believe that everyone has happiness inside of them. And I believe that all we have to do is add a little optimism in order to absolutely adore living life.