I wrote this essay to practice for my upcoming English Comp CLEP. The essay question had to do with the phrase "Nobody ever made any progress by being contented or satisfied. Discontent is vital to growth and development whether we are talking about one person or a whole nation."
-- basically I had to state whether I agreed with that or not... etc. Any feedback on what I should pay attention to during the actual test is greatly appreciated! This is the essay:
Although discontent is oftentimes considered to be synonymous with strife, it is in reality a harbinger of progress. Without discontent, no one would seek a better way to complete their tasks, and human invention would come to a stand-still. Men like Leonardo Da Vinci would cease to exist, and revolutions such as America's civil rights movement would never occur. Men would simply accept oppression unquestioningly and contentedly. Even in my own experience, this has proven true.
Leonardo Da Vinci has been dubbed a true "Renaissance man". Throughout his life, he wrote journals and books, created invention after invention, and studied everything from anatomy to astronomy. He was never satisfied with his current knowledge, however vast, but was always investigating some new idea. Leonardo dealt with the discontent he felt over man's inability to fly by concocting all sorts of flying apparatus, thus paving the way for inventors after him to create the hang-glider and the airplane.
When a little old black lady showed her discontent with discrimination by keeping her seat in a public bus, she sparked a movement of discontented African Americans towards one goal: equal rights. Through their collected dissatisfaction, and with the strong clear voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. resounding in Washington D.C., America took a step forward in the direction of equality. Once again, discontent instigated progress.
As an author and painter, even I am subject to feelings of discontent. Pride in my finished works rarely lasts for long, and often I need to force myself to stop painting over mistakes or endlessly trying to improve my "finished" drafts. It is precisely that discontent I feel that goads me on to improving my abilities. If I were content with my current skill, I would never improve. Therefore, I owe a lot to my discontent."Nobody ever made any progress by being contented or satisfied. Discontent is vital to growth and development whether we are talking about one person or a whole nation."
This is a statement that is amazingly true, and as long as we continue to react to discontent in a constructive manner, the world as a whole will continue to progress and to be shaped by us.