KEYSER - Keyser High School sophomore Mareena Clark has won first place in the area for an essay contest sponsored by the Cumberland Valley Optimist Club.

KEYSER - Keyser High School sophomore Mareena Clark has won first place in the area for an essay contest sponsored by the Cumberland Valley Optimist Club.
Contestants were to write on the subject: “When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?”
Mareena’s essay will now advance to competition on the district level.
The essay is as follows:
     Imagine a time in your life where it only seemed possible to think negatively. A time when it was unbearable to get out of bed. When you could not imagine living another moment of that terrible, never ending day. Is it possible that you only felt this way because of your pessimistic outlook on things? What if you had assessed the situation with a different mindset? Judging by Winston Churchill’s famous quote, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty," optimism is a trait that should become more prevalent in our world. After all, if there were no optimism, would the world’s problems ever be solved?
     People are responsible for their own happiness. However, this is a common misconception. People often rely on others or objects to fulfill a void in their lives; when this void is filled, they can feel optimistic. The only way to find true happiness, however, is within yourself. This is why optimism is necessary. Optimists believe that their actions and decisions result in how positive things happen. By thinking optimistically, we can see a whole world of new opportunities. Optimistic people don’t just learn from situations; they keep moving forward. Even in the face of adversity, optimism brings many benefits.
Choosing to be optimistic is choosing to live a better life. A positive attitude brings inner peace and a sense of fulfillment. This can improve your self-esteem, confidence, and even boost your immune system. Thinking optimistically will create an encouraging and hopeful atmosphere. Studies have shown that a positive attitude also leads to more meaningful relationships with others. Optimism is what helps solves the world’s problems. Optimism can turn all the world’s problems into opportunities.
     A lot of issues taking place in the world today come from the way people focus only on the negative aspects of things. For example, when we turn on the news it is more likely that we will see an act of crime rather than an act of kindness. It is human nature for us to allow negative thoughts to overpower the positive thoughts, which causes pessimism to be instilled into our minds. When pessimism is omnipotent, productivity does not thrive. But what if positivity was our number one priority, everyday? This is why optimism is necessary.
     As society has become more materialistic, there are influences bringing out the darker, narcissistic side of human nature. We want to bring out the good side of human nature. Optimism all comes down to "looking at the glass half full." Expecting good things to happen will lead to taking actions that produce positive results. The larger problem at hand is how can we all achieve optimism to make the world a problem free place?
     Many people find it difficult to make a difference in the world as an individual. But even the little things people do can have a significant impact on society. If everyone were to think optimistically every day, the world’s problems would slowly but surely come to an end. Having a positive mindset is consistently having hope for the future. It’s critical to have hope for the future because we never know what the future holds. This is a direction of travel toward a bigger change.
     Problems are temporary. The more we realize that, the more resilient we become. We must reframe our problems into opportunities. If you change the way you look at your problems, they will turn into opportunities to grow, learn, and discover. We will never solve the world’s problems by complaining about them or thinking pessimistically. Altogether, we must approach them from a new angle. If we change the way we carry ourselves and interact with others, it will change how we feel emotionally. We must use optimism to regard each other with kindness.
     Try to recall a time somebody was kind to you. Now change the scenario to a time where you were kind to someone else. How did this positive occurrence affect the rest of your day? Kindness and compassion should always leave a lasting impression. Optimism acts as a chain reaction to kindness. Without kindness, the world’s problems will not be solved. Optimism and solving problems go hand in hand.
     When all the world’s problems are solved, is optimism still necessary? Absolutely. There is never a time where optimism is unnecessary. The world is constantly evolving, and we must greet each new opportunity with a positive outlook. Without optimism, we will not better our lives. Without optimism, we will not perpetuate kindness. Without optimism, the world will not be able to conquer its difficulties.