Enthusiasm and Optimism are Contagious

Carly - Rancho Santa Fe, California
Entered on April 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that enthusiasm brings out the brighter side in life.

As kids in middle school, something is always a little bit wrong in our lives, whether it isn’t understanding a math concept, being bullied by somebody, or something more serious. Imagine you are sitting under your covers so your parents don’t know you’re up. You’re talking to a friend late at night. She’s telling you how awful her day went, again. Then she tells you she doesn’t think her life is worth living anymore. You sit there. Astonished. What should you say to your friend? Should you tell anybody? But that would let your friend down. Is she actually going to do it? You decide to keep talking and see how the conversation goes on. I was in that position not too long ago.

I learned to be enthusiastic from my cousin Jenna. When I was very young, I wanted to be just like her. She was essentially perfect in my eyes. She was pretty. She was good at all the sports she played, she got straight A’s, and I’m sure you can name the rest. She had every quality that a little girl could possibly want, a great one being enthusiasm. To this day, whenever she is in a room with others, no matter how bad their day went, her bubbly attitude brightens up their day. Her enthusiasm and optimism are contagious. Even at the age of six, I realized that I could make people happy also by being happy myself.

5,000 teens successfully commit suicide each year. My friend wasn’t one of them. Now, of course there were other methods of talking her out of it, but being enthusiastic certainly helped. It helped her realize all the amazing opportunities she has in her life and who she would hurt or help depending on the choice she makes. Enthusiasm showed her the brighter side of life and made her look forward to the future rather than live in the past. It showed her how she can help others by being happy herself.

Charles Kingsley once said, “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all that need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” I believe in this quote. To be happy, you must be enthusiastic. If we all live by this, we will find better ways to be happy. Often times I notice we are happiest when we get something like a new iPod rather than being happy about the things that really count. If every day we made someone unhappy, smile, by giving them something to be enthusiastic about, imagine how many more happy people there would be. What if you knew that today, your classmate is still sitting next to you because you convinced her life is still worth living. Aren’t those the things that really matter in life? That will give us something to be enthusiastic about.

Being enthusiastic is one of the most important qualities to have. Because according to the last quote, enthusiasm is happiness. And according to a quote my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Walter used to say, “If you can’t be happy, what can you be?” These two quotes show how enthusiasm is the key to life. Next time you are faced with yet another little problem, think about how your perspective can change if you are enthusiastic. It could mean the difference between life and death.