Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quote of the week #3

An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight... the truly wise person is colorblind.

Albert Schweitzer

There are a lot of controversial quotes on this topic and all of them contain something true, but I like this one the most.

Whenever someone asks me whether I am rather an optimist or a pessimist I am not sure what to answer.
What is the best way to see the world?

Is it better to be an optimist or is it easier to be a pessimist? Does it make any difference for our lives, for how many goals we achieve? In my opinion, it does. How we live our lives and how many of our dreams are going to be fulfilled… that depends a lot on our attitude.
I have realized that whenever I dream high, I have higher goals and whenever my goals were higher I did actually achieve a lot more. And to have these dreams results from hoping for the best. Of course, the aims we have in life should still be realistic.

Pessimism is supposed to prevent us from disappointments.  But can you actually enjoy life while seeing the worst part everywhere? Can you even appreciate the little good moments that are so important in life?
Of course, you have to consider the problems in life. But in my opinion, being pessimistic means to not want to change the bad things but to expect them everywhere and take them as they are, when one should rather look for a solution or a way to improve things.

The problem about being optimistic is that one can be disappointed a lot of times, because there will always be bad things in life. There is a great risk that your hopes will not be fulfilled, at least not all of them. But I think an optimist will have more fun in life and he is able to enjoy the good things.
But is always being optimistic even possible, given that there is so much injustice in this world?

Maybe, staying realistic, hoping for the best and knowing about the worst is the best way.

After all, our life is an adventure and it always contains ups and downs and to know the value of the ups there must be the downs.

Finally, a little note out of my life, which could also be seen in a wider context.

A lot of people are greatly interested in daily weather forecasts. I always try to stay informed about everything and I am interested in a lot of things, but the weather report certainly doesn’t belong to these. There are a lot of things that can be changed, even if this seems to be impossible. But one thing that I am sure I have no influence on is tomorrow’s weather and I certainly can’t change anything by watching the weather forecasts in TV. To know about this, I just wait for tomorrow, then go outside and see how the weather is. Call me crazy, but this is how I live.
Moreover, I think there is no need to be either optimistic or pessimistic about tomorrow’s weather. When it is raining, take an umbrella with you, if you don’t have one with you, it’s all right, you are not going to die because of getting wet. As long as there is no hurricane, there is no need to worry. Besides, there are always advantages of rain.

And, you know, the sun will shine again for sure.


  1. Anonymous3/9/12 03:52

    Interesting quote, especially coming from Mr. Albert Schweitzer, who should have experienced a lot more negative forces working in the world than those positive.

    I do not know why I think that this conclusion he arrived at, is more a metaphysical voluntarism than a pragmatic reaction.

    We are not judging Mr. Schweitzer quotation but the balance between an optimistic, and a pessimistic mind.


    There is a universal law known by the name of "Murphy Law" which praises negativism over positivism. It is very well known but just to be on the safe side I will quote the first statement: "If something can go wrong, it will go wrong"!

    On the other hand we can mention "Peters' Law", which is not an optimistic declaration but comes close to where an optimistic person must reach when of random laws is the game.

    Peters' Law states than all human beings can go up until they arrive to the limit of their 'incompetence'.

    This sound as an oxymoron but if you look around you, reality will show you that when people reached the place where they cannot be better or grow in their competence (that is, they are incompetent for their position and for all those posts up this last, they cannot progress).

    So the corollary of Peters' Law is learn the rung of your incompetence and stay one, or better, two rungs down it.

    And this is a way to know if we are an optimistic or an pessimistic guy or gal.

    In my experience, it came as a surprise to find that Easter's minds are more optimistic than Western´s minds, but surprise or not, it is logical.

    The pressing to be a winner, is less heavy (up to now) on those places than it is on our side of this poor globe.

    Most people in the East countries must stay below their possibilities, which ends giving them the benefit of working easily in a field they master well.

    In our society, we are pressed to go up, up, up and the sky is the limit, so it is liable that the persons will cross the line of incompetence sooner or later and that will make them pessimistic beings in the pack.

    And as a true ending, it is not important to be one or another to get any success in the world since success depends on Murphy Laws, despite the so often mentioned "American Dream".

    Of course, this is only an exercise of logic, not the real truth, but I feel quite comfortable with this explanation since I could probe conclusively to myself that it works this way.

    1. Thanks again, I highly appreciate your comments!

      What you say about people in the East countries is totally new for me, but I have never been there and it does indeed sound very logical.

      I can see that you have a lot more life experience than I have and that there is so much that I have to learn yet. You always mention something that is new for me, but I am glad you do.

      It is right that we always want to go up and achieve more and more. I actually just realized that I have this Western mind, too.
      But I also think that every human being tends to have infinite needs. Whenever we reach something we always wanted, we want even more.

  2. I see what you are saying here and it's very interesting. I think the optimist and pessimist both have good and bad points. It's good to be upbeat and happy go lucky but sometimes you don't see the pitfalls because you see everything in a rosey light. If you see negatively around all the time, you fail to see the good life has to offer and miss out on happiness most of the time.

    I think regardless to which way you bend, it is extremely important in certain areas of life to take a balanced approached to things. As you said, we can't control the weather, and does it really matter if we get wet or not? On the other hand when dealing with things like business, property, money or someone's life, our pessimistic or optimistic personal approach (without thinking) could have devastating consequences not just for us but for our loved ones. I better stop rambling now .

    1. I like your opinions. This is what I think, too. Both have advantages as well as disadvantages, although I think that the optimist will be happier in the long run.

      It is true that our attitude can have a huge impact on us and our loved ones when it comes to important matters that we have an influence on. And we really have to try to find a balance, as in almost every area in our lives.

      Thank you for commenting!

  3. I like the quote, too. An optimist and pessimist both have different ideas or expectations of life. Personally, I would say that an optimist shouldn't feel disappointed when something doesn't live up to his/her expectations. Whether it's going to turn out good or bad, he'll keep doing it and dares to venture further. If it fails to work out, he'll always think of another day, another time when everything will be fine.

    Reading on what you said about the weather forecast, it reminds me of what my lecturer used to say once. He said an optimist won't feel bad when the weather is bad because there's always a sunny tomorrow. Where as a pessimist will sigh and complains without thinking of what good day would lie ahead. It seems the pessimist would easily give up.

    These are just my thoughts. I like your post. :)

    1. Hi Balqis, nice to see you here. :)

      I totally agree with you and your lecturer. And I think you can transfer this to many other things, not just the weather. I always try to think of the sunny tomorrow, but it is hard sometimes.

      Thank you. :)