2016/03/22 10:40:27
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.
      这次议论文的题目很明确,Can being positive backfire?和其他选手一样,我认为折衷处理这类问题最妥帖,但是这样立意就会显得cliché,所以要从例子和说理部分弥补新意。
      在第二和第三段,我试图论述being overly positive/optimistic的不当之处:形成碎片化的人格和无法融入社会。这两段里我分别用黑童话和二战时期英国国葬来例证我的观点,试图佐证健全人格的形成建立在对事物两面的平等接受,融入社会正需要这种从小培养起的健全人格。第四段我提出要对自我和世界有清醒认识,我试着分析“too much optimism”的成因其实是隐藏于心的pessimism,正是因为恐惧真实的自己才惯用乐观的假面来伪装,而真正成熟的价值观在于直面人生起落但始终保持清醒。
      Personal temperament always varies a great deal. Optimistic and pessimistic is a pair of antonyms that confuses most of people, extrovert and introvert are likewise. There is no denying that an adorable person often wears an optimistic smile. However, following reasons will centre on being optimistic is not omnipotent. There still exists invisible harms to those who hold optimism deeply in heart.
      To begin with, personal temperament is too complex to merely encompass sole emotion. An overly optimism is certainly problematic and shows an immature and fragmentary personality. Admittedly, parenting and school education always teach us a bright, kind and philanthropic side of society, personality and humanity, from which our first stage personality, namely the bright one is formed. However, the alleged bright personality predominated by optimism is childish when we start our own life at our twenties. Freed from the ivory tower and walking into outer world, we are cheered and still holding the optimism deeply in heart even though we may know that the real society is not purely bright and prosperous as it appears. Most of people are stuck into the dire strait that the unconscious worry comes into true and optimism should lose its magic power. Simply being optimistic equals naivety and immaturity since the society is far from a rosy imagination. As a real human being, rather than the protagonist living in the fairy tale, it is the seemingly filthy society that we survive and rely on. For instance, a dark fairy tale has been recently introduced. It aims at unfolding the veil of society by illustrating another ending of several classic bedtime stories, namely an ending that is not so happy and acceptable to juveniles. The stories rewritten reveal the real society to children they will encounter in future in a relatively euphemistic way and help children to build an integrated personality apart from purely being optimistic. Therefore, a truly mature personality definitely involves various complex characteristics, and being mature means accepting both the dark and bright sides of society.
      In addition, people who often wear an overly optimistic outlook are incapable of fitting them in the society. As it has been mentioned, human personality is formed complex to fit the human in the same complex society. Viewed through the lens of the above theory, different social occasions require different emotions or characteristics. For instance, a newly-enlisted soldier should not wear any emotional outlooks in the UK during the World War II since they cannot bear any loss of their fellow countrymen in battlefield. People were immersing themselves in dread even hatred feelings then, and the soldiers represented their home counterparts were too sorrow to celebrate their victory. And any happy or optimistic outlooks would be regarded as disrespect to the dead in the serious national funeral so that people like that could not fit into the surroundings. The society is strictly run by the willingness of the majority; most outsiders cannot fit themselves in the society for they exaggerating their difference. Certainly, a likeable person sometimes shows his confidence is popular and widely accepted, however, the confidence and optimist will evolve into arrogance that is widely unacceptable in any circumstances. Therefore, fitting into the society is not simply imitating others or following the trends but choosing the most proper to share and similarity and show the difference.
      Moreover, overly optimist, to some extent, showing an unclear perspective towards self and world. A clear perspective is tightly linked to self-actualization and world view. Neither people with immature personality nor people hard to fit in the society can possess the opportunity to have a clear perspective that too much witty people chased after but still failed to do likewise. The precondition of establishing a clear perspective lies in the multiple characteristics, otherwise the lucid view will turn into a blind one. For example, being overly optimistic mirrors the truth that the person dodges his shortcomings deliberately rather than confront with them bravely. A seemingly optimistic person probably to terrified to show his pessimist and fear, so he treats everything in blind optimist and conceal his real feelings inside, which does great harm to build a clear perspective towards life. And a truly clear one is facing the ebbs and flows of life than put the axe in the helve one by one instead of showing the glamorous outside and leaving the inside rotten.
      In conclusion, disadvantages of an overly optimistic personality certainly outweigh the advantages. On the one hand, viewed through the lens of psychology, an integrated personality encompasses much more characteristics than purely optimist, which equips a human being with a prerequisite living in the modern society. On the other hand, sociologist suggests, human beings that live together will share the common ground, consequently, an overly optimistic person can hardly fit in such situation proved by both historic and current instances.
      作者第一段简短优美,两句话之后就引出了文章的论点:乐观并不是万能的,也有其隐藏的害处。这个观点让人耳目一新,人们通常认为乐天派才是好的,乐观才会好运。而作者却从对立面入手,认识到乐观有时也会有”invisible harms”,立意新颖。接下来作者从三个方面陈述了原因:
      1. 我们小时候接受的教育都是教我们乐观,而当我们真正长大面对社会的真面目时,一切美好的幻想都化成泡沫,我们也将不知所措。该段中以当下流行的”dark fairy tales”为例,说理性强,颇有亮点。
      2. 仅仅只有“乐观”这种性格的人难以完全适应社会。社会的复杂性要求人的性格也应复杂多变,以适应不同的场合,也就是我们所说的随机应变。此处作者举了在纪念阵亡战士的仪式上,当人们都悲痛缅怀时,那些一味乐观、庆祝战争胜利的人是不受爱戴、不合时宜的。此段体现了作者思想的深度。
      3. 作者认为过度乐观的人无法对自己和世界有清晰的认知。人们可能拿乐观当借口,用乐观的幌子遮掩自己内心的恐惧,并指出好的人生观是直面人生的起伏,而不是金玉其外败絮其中。可能由于时间原因,这一段略显仓促,但作者依然以其独到而深刻的见解鹤立鸡群。文章结尾自然流畅,总结了过度乐观害大于益,有力的回应了论点。
      从结构上看,该篇属于典型的“问题-原因-结论”组织方式。每段均有明显的过渡短语是一大亮点。第一段引出论点后,从第二段到第四段属于文章的主体部分,每段分别以”To begin with”, ”In addition”和”Moreover”开始,结尾段以”In conclusion”开始,次序分明,在这样一篇需要读者集中精力分析其精彩说理的文章中,更增强了其可读性。
      从语言来说,本篇也不乏句式优美、饱含哲理的亮点词句。比如,”ivory tower”和”dire stait”; “unconscious worry ”和”rosy imagination”,对比之中饱含深意。另如,”A truly clear perspective towards life is facing ebbs and flows of life then put the axe in the helve one by one instead of showing the glamorous outside and leaving the outside rotten.”等等。
      如果说思想的深度是本文最大的亮点,那值得改进的地方是语法和句法。本文中多次出现像”bear any lose”; “too much witty people”; ”he treat….and conceal….” 以及It is a great harm to building这样的动宾搭配错误,形容词名词搭配不当,主谓不一致等问题及其他句式问题。