It's January, so it would do all of us good if we put our optimism aside until Easter and indulged in some healthy pessimism this winter.
Pessimism shouldn't be confused with negativity. The happy pessimist is the person pleased that his cold isn't as bad as the next guy's or happy about hitting her limit on the credit card because they she just saved some money.
In fact, pessimists are by nature pretty easy going folk. When something bad happens, they're always the first to rightly point out that "it could have been worse" and when something good happens, they are pleased at their unexpected good fortune.
Optimism, on the other hand, is overrated.
Optimists expect things to turn out well, so are less likely than pessimists to work hard to make good things happen. Because of this belief, optimists are less prepared than pessimists to deal with the consequences when things do go bad. When someone dies, optimists are consumed by their loss but pessimists appreciate how their lives were made better by the time they enjoyed with the dearly departed.
Optimists believe things are always getting better. Pessimists paid attention in history class and realize that some things get better, some things get worse and most things just stay the same.
Optimists believe people are good, so they aren't very forgiving when people fail. Pessimists believe good people often do stupid things, so are much more forgiving of mistakes.
Optimists believe a good attitude makes the job easier. Pessimists believe it's easier to have a good attitude about a job well done.
Optimists believe in being nice and the power of a smile. Pessimists like being nice and smiling, too, but, unlike optimists, don't demand it from others. Optimists love the world. Pessimists love the world, too, but they don't expect the world to love them back.
Optimists have trouble dealing with the hurt of others and often just dismiss it as "raining on their parade." Pessimists understand that people get sad or sick sometimes. Optimists try to cheer sad people up with a joke and a laugh. Pessimists sit and listen to sad people.
Optimists can't wait for that bright tomorrow. Pessimists are always fine in the moment, because tomorrow could be worse.
Optimists believe in quick and easy solutions. Pessimists believe it's complicated.
Optimists believe government would be better if all the bad people were fired. Pessimists paid attention in political science class and know that good people and good ideas don't necessarily equal good government.
Optimists are the first to blame others and the last to blame themselves for wrongs. Pessimists always blame themselves first and others last.
Optimists want what they don't have. Pessimists appreciate what they have because they know many other people don't have it.
Optimists are never satisfied because the best days are always ahead. Pessimists believe today is the best day of their life because tomorrow they might not be alive.
Optimists think pessimists just need to cheer up.
That idea just makes pessimists laugh.
Give pessimism a chance.
You'll be glad you did.