*** Strategy Reflection *** Joshua Heyn Mrs.
*** My paper, “The Uselessness of Pessimism,” appears first followed by my Rhetorical Strategy Reflection ***
English 2 – Honors
15 September 2018
The Uselessness of Pessimism
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”, states Romans 8:28. The central idea of this excerpt from the Bible is that every event that has or will ever happen is for God’s glory and is therefore good. Whether Christian or not, this statement still has meaning in that all events, even those perceived negatively, possess goodness. I believe that there is a positive side to every event.
The validity of this belief is easy to question, since human history has displayed the occurrence of numerous events that seemingly possess nothing but destruction, death and evil. An instance I once viewed as nothing but negative occurred in 2012. At the time, I was living in the city of San Diego, California, but this would soon be subject to change. When my parents announced that our family would be migrating 3,000 miles to a location I held no foreknowledge of, thoughts of seemingly unnecessary work and change, separation from friends, and of an entirely new, worse destination began to enter my head. When this dreaded event did take place, I felt as if I was being pulled from my solid, safe castle and being transported to distant, unknown land, with hot dry wind beating against my skin, annoying sounds invading my ears, and not a friend in sight. Throughout the first months after the move, I continued to maintain the belief that this event was entirely profitless and useless. Over time however, I gradually gained insight that while I was giving up a lot, I was also reaping the benefits of our journey, such as an improved climate and a decreased chance of the unpredictable wildfires or earthquakes. This event exhibits how though several of our life events are initially thought to be filled solely with evil, time and thought can reveal a positive outlook on them.
My naturally optimistic view on life has contributed to the germination and growth of this belief. Even when I was a young child is was not uncommon for me to respond to downfalls with thoughts such as “Well now I can learn from that mistake to avoid a greater consequence” or “At least I know that I probably won’t do that again”. However, there have been events with extreme difficulty in my life that have brought this into question, such as the death of a family member. The loss of a close relative is equivalent to having a limb mercilessly ripped off, so maintaining an optimistic outlook is anything but a light task in this type of situation. Despite this, I learned that one can always discover something good from any event, in any size, shape, or form, even in the worst tragedies, through time and thought.
I have encountered individuals throughout my course of life who possess strong tendencies to view events pessimistically and have seen the consequences that can result from this personality. This is my response: do the opposite, search for the goodness that I believe is in every occasion. Will you seek after the positive?
21 September 2018
Rhetorical Strategy Reflection
The strategy I first implemented is imagery. I used this strategy, since it emphasizes my argument and strengthens the understanding of my thoughts and feelings. I desired that this would create visualizations in the reader’s mind of my topic, with the reader experiencing the situation with sight, hearing, and touch. At first, it was difficult to use this with great impact on the reader, but I kept improving what I wrote until I thought that it was very effective.
My second strategy is an analogy. I chose this technique, because it is capable of allowing the reader to gain insight and understanding, thus strengthening my position. By using this, I had hopes to cause feelings of sympathy and empathy on the reader, by showing that two actions, losing a relative and having an arm ripped off, are similar. The reader most likely understands the pain of the latter, so they could picture how I felt for the first. I was challenged in finding an action that best compares to losing a close relative, that isn’t exaggerating or pacifying the feeling. However, I was eventually successful, and thought that the two are very close in their effects.
The final strategy in my essay is a rhetorical question. I adopted this, since it almost always leaves the reader thinking. By incorporating this, I had hopes of having an effective “clincher” to end my essay with, because the reader considers the question. I did not experience any challenges in using this strategy, and I believe that it is an effective method of ending an essay with.