We always hear about the two kinds of people in the world: Optimists and pessimists. Someone will ask you: “Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of person?” And given your philosophy about life, you choose an answer.
Well, there’s a third answer: “Neither, I’m a reality-based person.” Believe it or not, this isn’t a bad way to live.
There are pessimists I know at work who walk the fine line between pessimism and “victomology:”
“Life is terrible, woe is me . . .” “Why is life treating me so bad?”
They’re the ones who say, “Gosh, I can’t figure out why my pants are so tight,” while they’re eating a super-sized burger (or two).
Then there are those annoying, ever-sunny optimists: “Oh, I’m so chipper, “The sun will come up tomorrooowww.” “Life is perfect!”
Then there’s the: Active pessimist. This kind of pessmist knows that yes, life can suck sometimes. Lousy things happen that can drag you down so far, you think you’ll never be able to get back up.
So you got a problem with a pothole? Your taxes are going up a few bucks? Your water bill is too high and it’s not your fault because you NEVER use water? Your mailman walked across your lawn? You’re fat and it’s the fast food industry’s fault?
Cry me a river, will ya?
Here are some active pessimism options to your “dilemmas:”
Call the city or county before you hit the stupid pothole and let them know it’s there. Don’t like what politicians are doing? Become an activist. Write a letter to your governor, your senator, your congressman.
Give some thought to those people who have no money to pay taxes with. Give a donation to the local food pantry, while you’re at it.
Realize that your household water consumption and plumbing is up to you, the homeowner.
Ask the mailman, nicely, not to walk across your lawn – or better yet, give him a break – he’s been doing a lot of walking that day!
Get off your butt and exercise.
Life isn’t fair.
Just suck it up, get over it, and move on!
Like the Paralympians do.
Like war veterans with disabilities do.
Like people who’ve survived cancer do.
Like parents whose kids are murdered needlessly do.
Like the kids who survive abusive childhoods and grow up to be successful adults do.
Do you think the people who suffered with those tragedies and setbacks didn’t want to just give up? Do you think they wake up in the morning, singing with joy? No, damnit: For them it’s a struggle, every day, to choose to not only survive, but to thrive. Despite the odds that they face, every single day, they go for it! To put it more nicely: You can’t choose the consquences life throws at you, but you can choose how to face those consequences.
Yes, passive pessimists can teach us a lot about life – they teach us how NOT to live. Those sunny optimists teach us that too much happy, happy thinking is overrated
And the active pessimists, well, they’re the ones doing the living. Taking action to make things better, for themselves and others. Others are in awe of them, for their strength. Well guess what, you have the strength also; you just have to reach inside yourself and find it.
Each of us has only one life, baby. Make the best of it.
What do you think? Am I off my rocker or right on?