Nay-Sayers. And. Cheer-ios. You know them. You’ve met them. On both sides of the proverbial coin. This time, I am talking about Optimists and Pessimists.
Pessimist: Oh, this can’t get any worse!
Optimist: Yes, it can!
I truly don’t think there is a black and white line, which puts us in either category. In my case, I tapdance a little bit on each side. For the most part, I try to stay neutral. If all the planets are lined up correctly, and the Unicorn jumps over the moon, that is.
The true Pessimists are a bit of a pet peeve with me. Maybe that isn’t the best description, but they seem to zap away a lot of my energy. They typically have an opinion, on everything and everyone. Most of the times, it isn’t good. If I can avoid being around them, I certainly do. They are a big Drain-O for me.
I don’t think we are born that way. I hypothesize. Mostly, we do not come out of the womb, look at our Mothers, and think… “Oh great. What are my chances of getting a drink out of that thing?” No. We don’t. At least not at first.
But what if that baby’s Mother repeatedly lets the child go hungry. Time, and time, again. Eventually, that little sprite is going to sprout an attitude. A Pessimist in the making.
Circumstance, environment. I think that gives the foundation for the makings of both. But it doesn’t mean we have to stay that way. At some point we can choose to be positive or negative. We can try to look for the good in the situation, or the lesson. We can see a worthy quality in any of our fellows. We certainly can try.
These days, when I go into a situation — any situation — I try not to imagine the outcome. Either good or bad. I just hope that I will learn and grow from the experience, one way or the other. This is in theory, I’ll tell you. Sometimes it seems like it could go terribly wrong, and the Pessimist Perils get to me.
On the flip side. Truly, I love those people (and I know some), who see goodness. In every turn. They are the bright side of life. The flames. The lights. The energy of good. If Introverted Me has to be around people, I sure hope they are a bus-full of folks going to the Ohio Optimists Annual Opti-Fest. Oh yes we can.
I want to be like them, and less like the nay-sayer.
I have some good people in my life. And even when they are facing huge challenges, they still find ways to be full of promise and buoyancy. I try to learn from them, especially.
Instead of letting negative thoughts eat away at our determination, we can choose to keep a positive outlook. In that way, add more power to our intentions.
If we focus on the negative, that is probably what we will see. Exactly what we focus on. But, if we try to think positive thoughts today, we will be filled up, in a good way. The glass half full of good.
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
― Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne