How you view the world around you and the events that take place determines whether you’re an optimistic person or a pessimistic person.
An optimistic person may be referred to as an optimist, whereas a pessimistic person may be referred to as a pessimist. The optimist always look at the bright side of life and expects the best. The pessimist looks at the gloomy side of life and expects the worst.
Here’s an ancient story which illustrates the point.
Many years ago, during a wedding, the bride’s brother was going down the cellar to bring more wine. As he walked down the stairs, he noticed a huge hammer on the ledge above his head that was at the brink of falling. Realizing that the hammer could have easily fallen on someone, he sat on the stair and started to cry. After realizing that he’s not returning, another man went down the cellar to look for him. Seeing the hammer on the brink of falling, the other man quickly removed the hammer and thanked God that it didn’t fall on anyone.
The first man in the story is an example of a pessimist. The second is an optimist.
A pessimist will be traumatized and depressed over an accident that was barely avoided. An optimist will rejoice that it was avoided.
A pessimist is very unlikely to enter into risky business ventures and would cite all the negatives. An optimist would jump into it too quickly.
Here’s another quote that describes both the optimist and pessimist well: The optimist joyfully declares that we live in the best of all possible worlds; the pessimist fears this is true.
Whereas there are people who are generally optimists or pessimists, most of the time, people are optimistic about some things and pessimistic about others. Therefore, it is difficult to label someone an optimist or pessimist based on one circumstance.
Nevertheless, if a person displays mostly an optimistic attitude, we may call him an optimist. And if he displays mostly a pessimistic attitude, we may call him a pessimist.
So, what kind of person are you? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?