After reading each other’s articles, Dominic Hamon and Ben Schneider sat down in the J-lab to defend their point of view and ask questions.
After reading each other’s articles, Dominic Hamon and Ben Schneider sat down in the J-lab to defend their point of view and ask questions.
Dominic Hamon

Expect the worst: Hope for the best

Prepare for the worst

Americans love to expect the worst in people.

It is the reason for so much fear, especially now, in the country, and it inevitably spurs hate. Many politicians will do this where they sell a certain fantasy about a particular group of people and play into the insecurities others already have.

Those insecurities are what create these divides and our differences can compound that. In a country where we should be celebrating our differences, we often judge and fear people who are different simply because we are unhappy with ourselves. The ideal scenario would be to embrace who you are and accept everyone else equally.

We struggle to ever achieve this because of the mental constructs that are cemented into all of us. By breaking those stereotypes firsthand, it is putting us in a better place than we could have ever been without it.

By straying from conventions and subverting our expectations, we create a world indifferent to our differences and one we can all happily live in. Lowering your expectations is not nihilistic by design. It is creating a realistic assumption of what’s to come, and if something better than you thought would happen happens, that’s great. Go you.

Though, I feel it’s always better to be ready. Bracing yourself for a bad experience puts you in a far less vulnerable position. This doesn’t mean cowering in fear but preparing for battle. It makes those tough moments in life a little easier and the good moments that much better.

Hope for the best

Half empty or half full? Most people regard themselves as the latter, considering they don’t want to be viewed as pessimists, but what defines a truly optimistic personality?

This age-old question regarding the perception of your mental cup ties to another proverb: Ignorance is bliss.

The ability to not worry and overanalyze every minor detail of every obstacle placed in our path is the ability to be ignorant, in essence. It’s blissful because it’s optimistic. The moment you catch yourself assuming the best in people more often than the worst is the moment you catch yourself being truly a glass-half-full person.

Assuming the worst in people is prejudice, it’s an opinion of someone many have come to have against others, based on no proof or experience. Try and rebuttal in your mind with ‘there are murderers, thieves, liars – that’s my proof’, and yes you’d be right. But there are also philanthropists; there are generations of doctors sworn to act in their patient’s best interest; there are volunteers; there are strangers who pray to their god for another stranger’s safety every time they see a rushing ambulance.

It’s that last chunk of people that define the general public, those who do the right thing even when no one is watching. It is that last group of people who significantly outweigh the first and hold up the standard that most people are good and should thus be treated as such.

If you claim to be a glass-half-full type of person then act like it. See the glass in everyone that you’ve met and even the people you never will.

Transcribed Q & A

Ben: If you always expect the best, how will you react when something bad does happen?

Dom: One bad interaction is just water off a duck’s back. It’s unfortunate, but still it is just one interaction. A good way to start refining that mentality of brushing off bad encounters is to be someone who looks for the good in people. 

Ben: I do think that’s a great mentality. I feel mine is a bit more of a realistic take on it and I just think hoping for the best all the time leaves you open to be hurt in certain ways. 

Dom: Do you think as you get older, your optimism increases?

Ben: It really depends on your life. If you have a happy life, have great relationships and all of your needs are met then yes, you will have a very optimistic view on life. Though, the same is true for the opposite. Bad experiences and negative people can cause you to have a more pessimistic view on life.

Dom: Your kind of mentality is going in with what I would say apprehension, do you want other people to treat you like that when you meet a new person?

Ben: No not at all, in certain situations it can be wise to be cautious, but when you’re in a safe environment, being open and vulnerable can be incredibly positive

Ben: How do you keep your competitive edge while still staying positive?

Dom: I think with sports you almost have to switch up your mentality. Like when you step on the field. It’s just like, when you walk into a certain environment, you have to walk in with a different mentality than you live your life with really. And that being said, that doesn’t mean you should go into a soccer game and be mean to everyone you meet. I feel like some of the people that I’ll talk with randomly in between plays and things like that will, the majority of time, talk back and they’ll be really nice guys. But occasionally, you’ll find the person who just does not want to have it or to talk to you at all. But you just have to be like, ‘okay, whatever dude’, again, water off a duck’s back.

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About the Contributors
Dominic Hamon
Dominic Hamon, Section Editor of Opinions
In his third year as a Chatterbox staff member, Dominic Hamon is excited to work as the Opinions Section Editor. He strives to produce several different articles that are both interesting for students to read and for himself to write. Hamon worked as a Peanuts Writer in his first year and then as an editor for the same section. Though he loved Peanuts, he’s excited to broaden his Chatterbox horizon and tackle opinions head-on. Hamon also plays soccer for the WHHS boys JV team and has a goal of being a part of many clubs.
Ben Schneider
Ben Schneider, Section Editor of Style and Culture
In his third year as a Chatterbox staff member, Ben Schneider is excited to work as the Style and Culture Section Editor. He hopes to put out consistent and quality work about all things Style and Culture. While mainly focusing on reviews himself, Schneider hopes to broaden the variety of his pieces this year.  Schneider also plays for the WHHS tennis team and has been a part of the basketball program in the past. He hopes to attend college and have a future in journalism. He likes to spend his free time listening to music, playing basketball, and writing for Chatterbox.
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