2:47 PM

For Speech & Debate, I have to give an oratory (a memorized, 7-10 minute speech on something you're passionate about) tomorrow. I decided to give it on optimism. Here it is:

An Oratory by Hadley Gordon

“True optimism is taking the glass, drinking down the contents, enjoying every minute of it, then refilling the cup for others to enjoy,” by Sam Benson. From a young age, we’re taught to be optimistic. I know you all enjoyed clapping your hands when your teacher would sing, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…” Although there are many, many reasons why you should be optimistic, today I’m going to focus on just three. The first is when you go through a trial with a good attitude, the trial will be easier to handle. My second reason to be optimistic is that you will be sick less often and have less pain. The third is that when you are optimistic, people are drawn to you.

                “Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” It is wise to heed the counsel of someone who remained optimistic while experiencing many difficult trials within her life. At the age of 2, Helen Keller became very ill, resulting in her loss of sight, hearing, and the ability to talk. Later in her life, Helen Keller wrote a book called, “Optimism.” In it, she states, “Most people measure their happiness in terms of physical pleasure and material possession. Could they win some visible goal which they have set on the horizon, how happy they would be! Lacking this gift or that circumstance, they would be miserable. If happiness is to be so measured, I who cannot hear or see have every reason to sit in a corner with folded hands and weep.” The point is that she didn't just ‘sit in a corner with folded hands and weep.’ Helen Keller truly lived her life to the fullest she possibly could, and did it happily. We all can look to her as an example of being optimistic throughout our trials—because her entire life was a trial! When you go through a trial with a good attitude, the trial will be easier to handle. I can personally testify of this. When I learned I had to move to Provo last summer…I was not very excited about it. I was about to start high school, and having to start at a new school and make new friends just added more stress on top of it. Because I decided to be optimistic about it, I think that I was able to make this transition a lot easier, and even able to make friends much quicker then I would have, had I not had a positive attitude.
                The second reason to be optimistic is that you will be sick less often and have less pain. In the book “Explain Pain,” by David Butler and Dr. Lorimer Moseley, it explains that there is a hormone in your body whose normal function is to break down those things that need to be broken down within your body. When you are especially stressed or have a lot of negative thoughts and feelings, the hormone will over-produce and break down extra things that it does not in fact need to be broken down. By the hormone doing this, it will make it so that you have more pain and will get sick more often, because the hormone is breaking down your immune system. Being sick or experiencing pain is never fun. By simply changing our attitude and outlook on life, it has been proven that sickness & pain will decrease in our every-day lives!
                The last, but definitely not least, reason to be optimistic is that people truly are drawn to you! People don’t want to hang around people that bring them down…they want to be with people that let them see the bright side of life! By having an optimistic attitude, you will be able to make more friends, your relationships at school with peers & teachers will be improved, and, I know it sounds crazy, but people really do find you more attractive! For me, the very first thing I notice about a person is their smile…or I notice that they are not smiling. By simply putting a smile on your face and seeing the ‘glass half full,’ I promise you that your life will improve dramatically. Happiness is contagious! If you are happy, the people you hang around all the time will be happy too. One person being optimistic can change the entire environment. Whether it’s at home, at school, or at work, optimism makes a difference. Maurice Maeterlinck  ,a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist said, “Remember that happiness is as contagious as gloom. It should be the first duty of those who are happy to let others know of their gladness.”
                Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” When you are old, and have lived a long life, don’t you want to be able to say you lived a happy life? Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives, asked them what their regrets were. Among the top 5 regrets of her patients was, “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” Bronnie stated, “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again." Yes, optimism is work…but it is so worth it! Herman Cain, an American author stated, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Listen to the advice from Bobby McFerrin and, “…don’t worry, be happy!” Always be able to clap your hands when you hear the words, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.”

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  1. I really like your speech on optimism. And you are a perfect girl to give this speech :)


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