Thursday, March 26, 2009

Optimist or pessimist?


Can we change our nature? Once an optimist, always an optimist? Same for pessimists?

"D" said tonight that her students tell her she's too optimistic. I think she's grand just the way she is. And I'm willing to bet her students adore her for seeing the best in them and drawing it out, and they just want to make sure nothing bad happens to her because she didn't see it coming.

On the other end of the spectrum, I'll admit that I chide Mr B for being too pessimistic. To which he counters he's a realist. Something about the glee in his voice when he talks about the next looming catastrophe makes me think I'm right. Then again, he's the kind of guy you'd want in your corner when that catastrophe does happen.

I read something in Oprah's magazine recently about the advantages of being a defensive pessimist. Sounded like a really good way to be. Which is part of the reason why I'm curious about whether we can change. I'd like to say that I see the glass as half full and half empty, not one or the other.

According to Helen Keller, "No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit."

Call me an optimist, but I find it hard to argue with Helen Keller.

3 comments:

Rudee said...

I think circumstance can change our outlooks. When things are going well, I'm quite optimistic. When they're not, I'm quite pessimistic and must pinch myself when good things happen. When life is working out too well, I seem to find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Mr B said...

I looked at your picture and thought was beautiful. Guess I'm not so pessimistic after all...

distracted by shiny objects said...

I'm a hope for the best, plan for the worst gal...a practical optimist?? It goes with the list making--Plan A AND Plan B.

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