Are You a Pessimist?

October 7, 2015 Acceptance


Are you a pessimist? According to an American religious group, God stopped saving people in May of 2011 and today, October 7th, 2015, the world will likely come to an end. I am not writing to mock or defend anyone’s beliefs be they religious, political or otherwise. I just find it interesting to consider what would you do today if you felt it was your last.

First off, I thank you for taking the time to read this blog post when you have so many last minute details to arrange. Perhaps, rather than being a pessimist, you are an optimist and believe that tomorrow will be another day.

What would be your plans if you are a pessimist and thought today would be your last?

  • Would you focus on helping others during this stressful time or be overwhelmed with fear and anger that your life would end so soon?
  • Would you be accepting of your fate and nicer to everyone you met today or be rude and just want them to get out of your face?
  • Would you be more tolerant of those whose ways and beliefs are different than yours or release your pent up venom on them for being so offensive?
  • Would you do your best to make amends to those you may have harmed or upset in the past or focus on those you blame for making your life the way it has turned out?
  • Would you  make sure to let your friends, family members and others in your immediate world know how much you love and/or respect them or become resentful that they have not sought you out for that purpose?

Many would act with reckless abandon assuming the law would not have time to touch them while others would focus on the life hereafter and how they would be judged. Would it be too late to make amends?

Let’s put the doomsday scenario aside for a moment.

What I want to point out is that our beliefs present options to us. Being a pessimist will take you in one direction while the optimist sees other opportunities. I lived with cynicism, suspicion, intolerance and a slew of other negative emotions for many years. They gave me a very pessimistic way of looking at life – an unhappy way, a very lonely way, a painful way. For quite a number of years, I have seen the world much differently.

Yes, there are many tragic things happening in the world today. How do you allow them to affect you?

  1. If you are a pessimist, you might live a life of fear, anxiety and expectations of worse things to come;
  2. If you are an optimist, you might accept that is how things currently are but have hope that things will improve;
  3. If you are ambivalent, you will turn a blind eye to what is happening and focus only on yourself;
  4. If you are an activist, you will try to do your part in making this a better world through being more understanding, more compassionate and more generous.

If this truly was your last day on earth, which of those would fit you best? If that is your belief, are you ready to meet your maker?

“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.”
Martin Keogh, Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World

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One comment for Are You a Pessimist?

  1. Terry says:

    I’d make a cup of hot chocolate and wonder what is coming next.

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