This I Believe

Chandler - New Orleans, Louisiana
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

From the time I was in elementary school, I understood the power of optimism. Every day I would sit on the same bench next to the playground and wait for the girl I had a crush on to walk up as she did every afternoon on her way home. I believed that one day she would sit next to me, despite how many times she would pass without a single notice of my presence. Hanging on to this optimism made sitting at the bench an enjoyable task every day, no matter the rates of success or failure.

As I got older, this habitual optimism had stuck with me. I would walk down the street thinking that maybe, just maybe, the ice cream truck would choose that moment to roll down the street, filling the lonely air with its cheery tune. My mind automatically brought up the most desirable outcome of every situation. The mere consideration that it was a physical possibility meant that I had something to look forward to. The best moment of the day is when I first wake up. From that point forward anything can happen. Just because I have to go to work today doesn’t mean that it is a possibility that work has been canceled by a surprise plumbing accident. Nothing is decided until the moment it happens, no matter how certain it may seem. The future is an infinite meshwork of the consequence of choices and chances that are made in the present.

Whenever something good does happen to me, I become optimistic about optimism. Every positive addition to my life, no matter how big or small, is reinforcement to my beliefs. Even bad days don’t seem as bad the minute my head plops on my pillow and I close my eyes and anxiously await a new, unpredictable day. Pessimism has spread into the minds of people as of late, given the state of the current world. This is because pessimism is realism at its worst. What people don’t realize is that the best possible outcome and the worst possible outcome to a situation have the exact same chances of occurring. The only thing that separates a pessimist and an optimist is what they inherently look for in life. Optimists like myself are always looking for the best out of life.

So the next time you’re stuck in the DMV, handed a slip of paper that isn’t remotely close to the ones being called out in monotonous intervals, think to yourself, “At this very moment the sprinkler system could go off, soaking everyone but me, then I can stride up the front desk with my dry, undamaged ticket and get on with my life.” What are the chances of that happening? Better than you might think.