I mentioned in my story, Sky Bird, that the main character Kendall was inspired by somebody who bullied me in high school. One of the biggest qualities behind Kendall’s character was his inability to see past certain aspects of another person’s upbringing or lifestyle. Passing off failure or the inability to match another’s performance for external reasons, such as the other person being richer or having access to more resources, it is a very defeatist attitude. While yes, those who are more fortunate are born with more opportunities, that does not mean in any way that somebody who is less fortunate cannot work towards those same experiences, if not greater ones. Potential is by no means defined by what you are born with. It is based on your perspective and ability to work towards your end goal in sight. You could be a waiter at a restaurant, and with the right attitude, become the general manager of the same establishment in a manner of years. Or you could be a waiter at a restaurant, and be, for a lack of better words, pissed off and grumpy, and never be promoted.
While people who come off as optimistic are often looked down upon, or written off as naive, having that positive attitude, especially an infectious one, it goes a long way. Nobody wants to stay around a pessimistic. They may relate to them better, because they tend to be more realistic, but that negativity is draining and it often times, causes an individual to be anchored down by one especially spite-filled fixation. I think about the person who Kendall was inspired by, and how even after all of these years, he has not come anywhere since high school. We both went to the same high school, and more or less started out on the same foot. The difference was that I refused to stay complacent: I took more APs and Honors classes, and I took risks, even though they did not pay off. He chose to stay in his comfort zone, or at least more so than I did. Yet, whenever I tasted success academically, he would write me off as being lucky that my parents could afford me tutors or external help. Yet, was I the smartest person at our school? Absolutely not.
While I was blessed to have the additional help, it did not, by any means, give me a completely unfair advantage over any of my other classmates. There were people who were around the same financial standing as him, but they were leaps and bounds smarter than I was. It was because they pushed themselves and tried even harder than I did. And I genuinely applaud them for that too; I think about a girl named Nicole, who comes from a five person family, and they all live in a modest-sized apartment. She went on to graduate from USC and become a CPA before she even graduated. If you are somehow reading this, Nicole, I don’t meant to embarrass you by mentioning you. You just are somebody who shows others how you can humbly achieve a lot despite not having the same kinds of advantages that I had. You are naturally smart, have a great attitude, and are a phenomenal worker, so everyone in the world can take a page from that. As for the person Kendall was inspired by, he is still pursuing his undergraduate degree in college, even though he should have graduated with my year, back in 2017. He is set to graduate from community college in 2020. And his only professional experience is working as a cashier at a Mitsuwa supermarket.
Now I am not saying that going to community college or working at a supermarket are bad things. I am, however, saying that being pessimistic and close-minded, it hurts you. He is too busy being bitter at the world, making excuses for why other people are more successful than he is, to make the most of the opportunities handed to him. I am more than certain that if he was told about Nicole’s success, all he would have to say about it was that if he went to USC, he could have become a CPA too. But in reality, that is not the case. He did not get into USC, nor is he nearly as persistent or quite frankly, hardworking as Nicole, so he would not have ever gotten as far as she did, even if he was accepted into the school. His inherent behavior and attitude, being a glass half-empty, that closes doors before they could even open. He gets defensive at the success of others, and shuts himself away from them and their accomplishments. Rather than feeling motivated by the accomplishments of others, he grows angry and resentful. While it all boils down to a sense of guilt, him feeling unaccomplished, the only way for him to use that energy in a productive way is to adopt a “I can do it too. I just need to work towards it”-sort of viewpoint, rather than a “if I had that, I could have done it too” mentality. Perspective is something I stress a lot about, because it really does make a difference. So rather than being a pessimist all the time, live a healthier blend of positive and negative. You can be realistic, but you can also be ambitious. Never forget that, so that you can live a feather-light life.