Saturday, November 20, 2010

Optimism vs. Pessimism vs. Realism - NOW WITH (unrelated) ILLUSTRATIONS!

I learned in journalism class that people don't like to read.  Well, they don't like to read huge blocks of text.  You people apparently need pictures for stimulation purposes, so in this post I'm going to throw in some pictures here and there to try and keep your attention.  No, there will be no nudie pictures.  I'm not talking about that kind of stimulation, you sickos.  These pictures may or may not be related to what I'm actually writing but that is just because I'm lazy and I don't feel like finding/creating pictures to go along with what I'm saying.

So, I've been told that I am a very pessimistic person and I resent that because I like to think of my pessimism as realism.  And realism often gets labeled as pessimism which is hardly fair.  Though honestly I tend to take my realism with a chaser of pessimism from time to time. 

Everyone's favorite way to figure out if someone is a pessimist or an optimist is to ask them if the glass is "half empty" or "half full".  But doesn't that really just depend on the situation? Suppose you're pouring beer into the glass and you stop half way.  Wouldn't the glass be half full? As in, "Bartender, what the hell? My glass is only half full.  I know it's $1 mug night but come on."  If you are drinking the beer and you stop at the half way point, wouldn't the glass be half empty? And couldn't half empty be a good thing some times? "Well, it's true I've had 15 mugs of beer but 16th mug is only half empty."  You still have half a mug left! Awesome!

Aren't some of these "optimistic" people pessimistic, too? If little Johnny is playing in the street they would say "Get out of the street!" and little Johnny says, "Why?" And they say, "Because you'll get hit by a car!" Well! That is a pretty pessimistic thing to say! It is horrible to think of little Johnny getting hit by a car! Why would you even think like that, all negative? It is possible that little Johnny wouldn't get hit by a car and by the optimists standards shouldn't we be focused on the positive and hope for the best? I find it slightly hypocritical because I think most people would say little Johnny shouldn't play in the street because he might get hit by a car.  With that said, a true optimist would let little Johnny play in the street and believe that everything is going to work out fine.  And so, optimism is irresponsible.  And you should be ashamed, letting young children play in the road like that.

Now, pessimism can actually be healthy unlike the deadly optimism which we have just discussed.  Good surprises are good and bad surprises are not good.  I think we can all agree on that.  BUT! If you are expecting a bad surprise then it isn't a surprise because you were already expecting it.  If you expect the worst then when the worst happens you are hardly even phased.  But if you expect the best and get the worst then you are all sad and depressed.  If you expect the worst and get the best YAY! It's like Christmas! If you expect the best and get the best, how is that even fun at all? You say "I knew it was going to work out that way" therefore making you sound like a huge douche.

So, remember kids - Optimism is irresponsible and hates children and probably puppies and kittens, too.  Realism is logical.  Pessimism is mostly used to piss off optimists and that is why it is so much fun. 

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