Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Defining Optimism and Pessimism

Kin Hubbard said that "an optimist is a fellow who believes what's going to be will be postponed." Oscar Wilde defined a pessimist as "one who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both." To Jean Rostand, "My pessimism goes to the point of suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists."

And of course, there's the old saying that the optimist sees a half-full glass,and the pessimist sees a half-empty glass.The true pessimist, though, dwells on the fact that, eventually, he's going to have to clean the glass.

We all know -- or at least think we do -- optimistic and pessimistic people. But how do you define optimism and pessimism to fit in with your world view? How can you tell an optimist from a pessimist? And which is closer to realism?

I await the wit and wisdom of the cybermasses.