Essay by dokeunHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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What does optimism mean? It could depend on who you are. Some optimists believe optimism is trying to make the best out of every situation. A pessimist might say that optimism is wishful thinking. Both views have some truth to it. What about pessimism? What does that mean? An optimist may say that it's trying to make the worst out of every situation, and a pessimist would say they are being realistic. Now that I've defined optimism and pessimism from everyone's point of view, now I can get down to what it really means. Optimism is looking at only the good things of something and pessimism is looking at only the bad things.

I do not consider myself an optimist or a pessimist. I believe that one should look at things as they really are. If you look at only the good things or the bad things of something, you may not understand some things fully.

I prefer to try not to be too wishful in my thinking and at the same time be realistic. However, sometimes when I think of something, my first reaction is overly optimistic or pessimistic. For instance, at one point when I was writing this speech I said to myself that I'd never finish. Of course that's not true because I'm giving the speech now.

I also do now know many people that tend to think very optimistically or very pessimistically ALL the time. I find that many people use the same approach as I do when it comes to things, looking at all sides of whatever situation one is facing. Few people I know will always try to look specifically for good or specifically for bad things in a situation. A lot of it, I find, is based on their mood, which changes frequently...