Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Optimism: Seeing the World’s Potential

Optimism: Seeing the Worlds Potential

What is optimism? How does something so abstract bring us together? There are so many different ways to look at this topic. Optimism is not just about having positivity, it’s about choosing to be happy when you don’t need to be.  An optimist looks at the world and sees its potential. 

Take going to school for example. Everyone has to go to school. There is not an option to go or not to go. So why not make the best out of it? Choose to feel positivity, will yourself to get excited to see your friends, and participate in class. There is nothing wrong with that. Someone who gets excited about everyday things, instead of complaining endlessly, has a positive effect on everyone around them. I myself, get excited to enter my first-period class.  Would you rather be around someone radiating positivity or someone constantly nagging and complaining about things they can’t change?

When thinking about making connections, optimism is at the forefront. People who are optimists see everyone they meet as a potential friend.  When they are out in the world, they choose to engage versus shy away or instantly judge those they meet.  Everyone is a possible future acquaintance or best friend. That is what sets optimists apart from everyone else. They see the world in a different light. Instead of being too nervous, or thinking of themselves as better, they take the world at face value and choose to see kindness first. They see connections. It’s almost like optimism acts as a lens of opportunities. 

Through the lens of optimism, you can see challenges as ways to grow and learn. Others would shy away from these daunting tasks, but optimists embrace the challenges. Without optimism, we see a long essay and delay it, hoping we can delay it forever. We see a social gathering where you know almost no one and choose to stay home instead of meeting new people. Optimism opens up a world of possibilities that pessimists will never get a chance to see. 

Through the lens of optimism, people can get joy from small things. They go through life excited for the next day, and what it could bring. That is truly what life is all about. Living with purpose, because you never know where life will take you or how long it will last. Having an optimistic outlook means seizing opportunities that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Who knows what the world would be like without optimists seeing life’s potential?

Nowadays, teenagers tend to hide behind their screens. More now than ever, teenagers get easily embarrassed and close themselves off to protect themselves.  Optimists in my generation are few and far between. As Gen Z, we share the idea that almost everything is humiliating. From being seen with our parents to spotting someone we know in public, we are not inherently optimistic and don’t look hard enough to see the bright side.  No one I know would ever dream of going up to a total stranger and trying to become friends with them. However, the blame cannot solely be placed on us. Given the many harsh realities of today – from COVID-19 to climate change to increasingly angry politics – and on top of this we have the dangers and pressures of modern social media culture, it’s no wonder we have gone into this pessimistic haze behind our phones. It is growing harder to be an extrovert, let alone be excited and optimistic.

That is exactly what I believe needs to change. My generation as a whole is lacking this connection. We need more optimism in our lives, and the first step is to challenge yourself to step outside what’s considered normal. If we let it, optimism can unite our generation. 

Optimism is what can connect us all. It would allow us the ability to meet new people and open up a whole new world that would otherwise go unnoticed. My generation NEEDS this. We need to feel connected and not as distanced. We need to go up to strangers because we’re not afraid. With the help of optimism, we really can do anything. Start with something small, compliment a stranger. Then go bigger, wake up, and get excited for what comes for the day, and sooner or later you will have a different outlook on life. It might seem hard, but as a generation, we need to take this next step. We need to put embarrassment aside, judgment aside, and allow new connections to form. Optimism is the solution.

Note: this essay won first place in the Sacramento Optimist Breakfast Club’s yearly essay contest.

View Comments (4)
More to Discover

Comments (4)

These comments do not reflect the opinions of the Rio Mirada staff and are for discussion purposes
All The Mirada Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • ElsaApr 12, 2024 at 7:42 PM

    Congratulations Kate for winning! This article is very well written and makes a great point about optimism.

  • HarkinApr 12, 2024 at 11:37 AM

    This essay on optimism is so well-written and thought provoking! Great job Kate Maloy for winning!

  • CamerynApr 10, 2024 at 11:54 AM

    Great job Kate Maloy. Love it girl!

  • KateApr 10, 2024 at 10:20 AM

    Wow! What an incredible essay. Congrats to Kate for winning first place. I especially agree with the future of the music section.