2016/03/22 11:30:39
Can being positive backfire?
      Optimism provides a multitude of benefits across many facets of life. Researchers have linked looking on the bright side to everything from improved pain tolerance to increased longevity. There’s nodenying the incredible power an optimistic outlook can have on our health, relationships, and performance. But like much in life, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. There are some cases when an overly optimistic outlook can do more harm than good.
      Suppose there is an online discussion forum on the topic “Can being positive backfire?” Write a post to the forum, clearly stating your opinion and supporting your ideas with specific reasons and examples. You should write about 800 words.
      拿到题目之后,我足足看了三遍题目中的文本信息。其中,提到了两点:一是being positive;二是being overly positive。我自己的想法就是折中。然后,开头明确提出自己的观点再以一个详例子和三个短例子对所持观点进行适当佐证。接着回到文本信息中的overly positive,对其提出反对和批评,并选取一个例子进行佐证,证明为什么要反对overly positive。最后是对整体的总结,明确表达自己对题目 “Can being positive backfire?”的看法。
      Emotions are miscellaneous, such as optimism and pessimisism; merriment and sorrow; excitement and despondency;... Human beings are inherently emotional and emotions do play a significant role in our actions and attitudes. We may encounter some personal tragedies or sufferings, but the actions and attitudes we take might differ. For example, being moderately positive means that we can keep a sanguine outlook on our experience; means that we can transmute the negative feelings into a positive attitude towards our frustration; means that we can look the unpleasant matters in a positive light and tackle them with great resilience. Personally, I espouse bing a moderately positive individual.
      Hellen Keller, who was blind and deaf, became a celebrated writers with unflagging belief in herself and unyielding willpower. In front of Hellen Keller, there lied two options: either live live to its fullest or wither away like the autumn leaves. Instead of capitulating to the sheer darkness and silence, she harbored prodigious fortitude to vanquish the personal trageies and sufferings. Under the assistance of her teacher Anne, she learnt Braille and writing. After reading a sea of books, Hellen Keller soaked up all the quintessence and wisdom of other writers and attempted to write her own. The spirit of never being pessimistic sustained her in the most darkest hours of her life and she rose like a shinging star in the firmament of writing. Her teacher also held a positive belief in Hellen so she resolved to help Hellen face life positively.
      There are innumerable other examplars of being moderately positive. Thomas Edison, by dint of a postive mindset and unwavering pursuit, invented the most endurable and suitable material to make the incandescent bulb which marked the inauguration of the electrical era. Madame Curie, by virtue of a optimistic attitude and steadfast tenacity, extracted an infinitesimal amount of radium from tons of impure materials after three-year-and-nine-month experiment and advocated to use radioisotope to cure cancer which rendered humanity a powerful weapon to fight against the fatal disease. Hua Luogeng, a renowned Chineses methematician, metamorphosed into a math master by holding a positive outlook and unswerving doggedness.
      It's not hard to find the common denominator of the brilliant and reverent giants: a positive outlook towards the sufferings and failures.
      Being moderately positive will arm us with an effective weapon to repel the enemies of negative feelings that will hold us back and become a stumbling block on the way ahead. It will bolster up our belief and confidence in the face of the mishaps and torments and we will possess a more optimistic perspective to the life tragedies. Being moderately positive is like a beacon light of hope which will illuminate our way ahead and resembles a lighthouse which show us the path when we are disoriented. Then all the darkness will fade away and crumble into dust. Being moderately positive is the inner force which propels you froward in the teeth of setback and hurdles. We will ooze confidence and persistence no matter how tough the situation is.
      Nevertheless, we are supposed to put the positive mindset in perspective, which means we need to understand it in the appropriate and right way. Here the positive mindset is a moderately positive one, not overly optimistic. Anything that is too much will backfire. The last emperor of Shang Dynasty was being too sanguine and optimistic and believed that his kingdom was impregnable and was never to be toppled by others. Thus he sank into the debauched and promiscuous lifestyle, listened to the malign suggestions of his diabolical officers and precluded any good suggestions from being sent to him. The decadence and depravity eventually led to his downfall and his power was nullified and compromised. This renders us a good lesson that we shall never become overly optimistic about our lives, works, conditions and circumstances because undue and inordinate optimism led to the complacent and smug mentality. It is always counterproductive.
      Individuals should always strive for the better selves rather than rest and wallow in self-contentment when the achievements are made. That is why being overly optimistic should be deprecated and criticized.
      So, what we need to do is to differentiate the positive mind from the overly-optimistic one, for there is a blurry line between these two. Our capacity to distinguish between them must be acuqired by constant failures and attempts. Always being moderately positive is not an easy task and trying to keep it is even much harder. Sometimes we will become disheartened and lose all the hope; sometimes we will enjoy the exhilaration of being successful and then get obsessed with the current achievements. Through failures, we can have a much clearer interpretation of being moderately postive. And this is a long process that should be covered step by step and brick by brick.
      Can being positive backfaire? I cannot answer in the affirmative. But add "moderately" to the sentence: Can being moderately positive backfire? My answer is definitely NO.
      对于议论文来说,审题永远都是重中之重。而其实审题也是最具趣味性的,品味题目的引导性,琢磨关键词带来的启发。这篇议论文的题目恰恰就是这种非常吸引人的类型。读到疑问句的标题“Can being positive backfire?”让人耳目一新。通常提到乐观主义,大家想到的可能都是其种种好处。题目材料第一段也顺着读者的思路写出了乐观使人长寿、助人成功等等。但笔锋一转,材料第一段最后两句给出了这篇文章的关键:乐极可能生悲。关键词是“Overly optimistic outlook”。分析到这里可能对于许多同学来说,这道题的谜已经解了。乐观是好的,但乐到极端则会有害。因此推断只有适度乐观才是解决办法,就如白马非马。材料第二段则为硬性的要求:字数限制,陈述观点并提供支持的材料、理由或实例。
      从内容上说,作者的这篇文章内容详实,论据有力。第一段虽并没有开门见山,而是谈论了人性情多变,乐观有其独特的好处。但第一段结尾给出了明确的论点:Personally, I espouse being a moderately positive individual.这里如果观察仔细的话就能发现作者的高明之处在于对题目的回应。作者作出了回应并没有逃避冲突,但绝不是盲目的回应是或否,而是有条件的回应。“moderately” 这个副词的出现体现了作者审题的功力。立论之后就要提供论据来支持论点。作者分别选取了海伦凯勒和居里夫人作为主要的正面实例。接下来的过渡段非常巧妙的总结了她们成功的众多因素中的“公分母”是乐观的态度。并进一步引出证实了适度的乐观确实对人大有裨益。而接下来笔锋一转到了驳论的阶段,过度乐观有怎样的害处呢?作者举了商纣王荒淫无度、贪图享乐最终家破国亡的例子给人以警示,也充分证明了过度乐观的害处。那我们究竟该如何做呢?作者在倒数第二段提议我们应在成功和挫折中学会调适、适度乐观。文章最后一段意味深长,回应论点,整篇文章显示了作者严密的逻辑和辩证的思维。
      语言运用也是该文章一大亮点。词汇丰富,运用自如。比如:prodigious fortitude, unswerving doggedness, mishaps and torments和setbacks and hurdles 等短语充分体现了作者高端词汇运用的娴熟。而像Braille, radioisotope和the incandescent bulb等不常用的技术型的词汇体现了作者词汇量之大。除此之外,作者句式运用灵活多变,长短句交叉结合非常老练。作者还尤其擅长使用修辞,文章中大量使用排比,对偶和比喻等修辞手法,都体现了作者深厚的语言功底。