Does being content with the way things are prevent people from improving themselves?

October 2013.

Prompt 1

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Most people think that contentment—being happy with the way things are—is the perfect state of affairs. After all, what could be better than being so satisfied with how things are that you don't want anything else? But contentment has disadvantages: if we are content with the way things are, we are not motivated to change things, to improve ourselves, or to do better. We must therefore always choose between being content and pushing ourselves to do better.

Assignment: Does being content with the way things are prevent people from improving themselves and doing better?  Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

2013/10/14 10:52:23

Posted by DoctorZ | 阅读全文 | 回复(1) | 引用通告 | 编辑

Re:Does being content with the way things are prevent people from improving themselves?

Contentment and striving to improve and do better do not contradict each other. They do not have to be picked and treated either or. They in fact should go side by side – we celebrate each achievement and obtain that special sweet satisfaction; we strive to do even better next time. In everyone’s life, there is that moment, that short instance where a person can choose to take a situation and use it for their improvement, or misconstrue the problem faced and abuse it for their own harm. When these moments, no matter achievements or dilemmas encroach upon my life, I believe in viewing the situation, no matter it is problem or triumpth, as a source of enrichment. I believe in being happy, satisfied, and seeing the glass of life as half-full and never anywhere near empty all the time.


As a child growing up in the small city of Lake Park, Florida; the battle to live a decent life was ever-raging. I found peace and contentment only when I was away from the chaos that was my life. However, I rose to the occasion and excelled to extreme heights in life. This overwhelming struggle would be what first influenced my belief. The struggle to see life as a good thing, even when there is no food in the house, or any power to do homework after dark. Even at these stygian times, the glass of my life was not half-empty, but was filling up, although not as fast as I would have liked it, it was still filling up to be better. That was the belief I held. That is what I believe.


I hold my belief of seeing the glass of life half-full, even in the dimmest situations of my life. Like when my dearest grandfather was slaughtered on the streets of Riviera Beach, Florida, over $2 in his wallet. Even at such a time, life was still half-full. I knew better than to mope, because my grandfather was in a better place. Although he arrived there in a brutal and inhumane way, he’s still far better off than many left here on earth. This is the belief that gets me through heartbreak. This is what I believe.


At one point in my life the dream of being a varsity wide receiver on the football team, was the only dream that occupied my memory. I dreamt, slept, and lived football. Unfortunately, this dream would be cut short. With a barely above average GPA, my mother sequestered me from Apopka football, thereby, killing the dream that was still buried in my heart. This sport was my life, yet in the blink of an eye, like the life of my grandfather, it was snatched away. However, when I was faced with this undertaking, I evaluated my alternatives, and made a difference in my life. My new dream became, taking the same passion that I have for football, and applying it in the classroom so that I could still have a chance at a better life. I chose to take this obstruction in life and morph it into an outlet that would grant me letters of recognition from remote colleges, to the most pristine Harvard College.


Throughout my life, displeasure has been the norm. However, what I believe is what makes life worth living. I believe that the glass of life should never be seen as half-empty, because this leads to depression; which is in no form advantageous to anyone. This is the reason why the glass of my life is always seen as half-full.

2013/10/14 11:02:45

Posted by doctorzhang | 个人主页 | 引用 | 返回 | 删除 | 回复


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