2016/03/22 09:50:20
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.
      与其盲目乐观、自我欺骗,不如 come to terms with the brutal reality. “花枝春满,天心月圆”的不悲不喜,才是至高的境界。
      I am a persimist, an incurable persimist. That's probably why I was always told, by kind, encourging people, that "You should have an optimistic outlook on life. Always look at the silver linings!" Without even questioning, I bore that saying in mind and attempted to believe in its positive energy. When suffering setbacks, I used to console myself again and again with those words. Yet my life didn't seem to improve in the slightest just because I tried so hard to be positive. It finally ocurred to me that, being positive is neither a way out of adversity; nor it it capable of directing our life to a brighter tomorrow. Disappointing enough, positivity surely backfires.
      The worst about being positive is that it incapacitates us to prepare for the worst. Optimism is apt to run unbridled and develop into blind optimism. Last year, I took a very important accreditation test, but I screwed it in a very shameful way. That was the consequence of being overly positive.Prior to the test, I did substantial practice but still felt like it would not be a 100% victory. Realizing that, I was overwhelmed by a fit of frustration and fear. Then those words about being positive started to echo in my mind: why think of the worst case scenario? What if the test would be much easier than anticipated? Even if I failed, did it mean the end of the world? After all, there would be endless opportunies ahead. The thought convinced me, so I chose not to push myself too hard, expecting good luck would knock on my door. The result, however, pulverished all my previous positivity: it was, to my astonishment, a two-point miss. I couldn't help thinking that had I shrugged off my blind optimism and taken more efforts, would things be different? This "waterloo" taught me a lesson: being positive is like always betting on one side of the coin tossed by God -- if God does exist. Positivity may thus render us defenseless to unexpected misfortune and leave us vulnerable to the uncertainty of life.
      Some may refute this point by arguing for the signifance of positivity in helping us to tide over hard times, but this notion my be problematic in the first place. When I felt my sky was gray, I thought a rainbow was coming in the way. Yet an arrary of successive gloomy days made my optimistic fantacy like a castle in the air. When I desperately needed a shoulder to cry on, I found that no one could understand my pain and realized that one is destined to walk a lonely road for some time. This is where the pitfall of being positive lies. It offers a tempting yet dangerous presumption that in life, good things are bound to outnumber bad ones. In other words, if life is a journey, it must be a generally pleasant one, despite the trecherous swamps and thrilling thorns, which occassionally get in the way. But what if life is not supposed to be like that? If not contented with the present, we will habitually look ahead for a promising future. This kind of positivity is quite common, if not universal. Such good wishes, however, are neglectful of the very fact that life never goes the way we want: the future may turn out to be even tougher. Compared with being positive, there is a better alternative: assume that life is meant to be hard; take it for granted that the unwanted are more than the wanted. This way, we can appreciate and cherish what's rare in life, such as joy and happiness, and go through the inevitable setbacks in a more composed manner.
      Positivity is not a bad thing in itself, but it's likely to deter us from coping with difficulties and getting a full picture of life. Many literary giants and great philosophers, such as Virginia Woolf and Thourau, may not always restort to positivity in their eventful lives. That's probably because, if one stays positive, that's no worse than seeing the world through stained glasses or a klaidoscope. However beautiful the view appears, it is, at any rate, an illusion. Admittedly, positivity does offer us a good way to shield usselves from the cruel or even brutal reality, yet that cannot always work. It is better to unveil the mask of life and see through its nature of futility and disappointment. In case optimism backfires -- and it certainly will, it is better to go beyond positivity and face squarely the harsh reality.
      作者第一段讲述了自己是悲观主义者。听过许多乐观主义的道理,却依然过不好这一生,因为现实中乐观既不能救人于水火,又不能指引人走向人生巅峰。因此得出论点:Disappointing enough, positivity surely backfires. 真的是别出心裁,第一段就能吸引读者的兴趣,让人迫不及待想知道作者如此“悲观”的理由是什么呢?作者给出的第一个理由是 positivity incapacitates us to prepare for the worst. 人们往往期待最好的,却从不做最坏的打算。作者通过自己考试依赖运气而不是努力的“滑铁卢”论证了乐观有时就是用上帝之手抛硬币赌一把,让我们在失败和不幸面前惊慌失措。
      最后一段稍作总结,指出乐观本身不坏,但如果人们总是戴着有色眼镜或通过万花筒看世界,一切美好都太虚幻。因此我们应该直面人生中的困难与挫折,"in case optimism backfires—and it certainly will".
      其次作者非常善于使用插入语、小短句等。长短句错落有致、运用娴熟,而且语言优美。如:This "waterloo" taught me a lesson: being positive is like always betting on one side of the coin tossed by God — if God does exist. 和 "That's probably because, if one stays positive, that's no worse than seeing the world through stained glasses or a kaleidoscope. However beautiful the view appears, it is, at any rate, an illusion. "