Pessimist vs optimist

The pessimist looks at himself in the mirror and laments over life’s struggles that have scarred him into a bald man.

 The optimist, on the other hand, smiles at his reflection in the mirror and rejoices the fact that his balding head no longer requires a comb to keep it neat! Welcome to the world of the extremes — the eternal brooder where everything works in accordance with Murphy’s Law, and the incorrigible dreamer where everything is always coming up roses.

If the tall man and the short one, the white and the black, the good and the ugly, the chauvinist and the benevolent can all co-exist, why not the pessimist and the optimist? They not only bring equilibrium where extreme situations would otherwise ensue, but they add much spice and an element of fun in the game of life.

A pair of business partners I once knew fitted perfectly into this scenario. One was an insufferable pessimist, and the other an inveterate optimist. If one saw difficulty in every opportunity, the other more optimistically saw the opportunity in every difficulty.

Their business model thus evolved into a perfect blend of extreme caution and outrageous risks. They had, for instance, a pessimist to run their credit department and an optimist to head their sales department. Ergo, while their cash inflows and outflows were very conservatively managed making their business a very solvent one, their sales figures projected a raising trend, no matter what recession the economy faced.

If a pessimist-optimist combo should work wonders with business, its powers are simply magical in marital combinations. Put a pessimist and an optimist together in marriage and voila, an ideal couple emerge, the kind that married couples vouch is found only in Mills & Boon Romance. I know one such couple and the way they celebrate every New Year sets the tone for the rest of the year that is both blissful and peaceful.  Together in harmony, they wait until midnight, one embracing the New Year in joyful anticipation and the other kissing the old year with regretful sentiments. The same couple complement and supplement, concur and infer, argue and agree, fight and make-up, live and let live with their opposing and yet equalising pessimist-optimist personalities.

Whether a pessimist or an optimist, it is nature’s wonderful way of bringing a balance to the world. For, when pessimists forget to laugh, there are optimists who laugh to forget. For every male pessimist who thinks all women are bad, thankfully, there is an optimist man who hopes they are. 

Now for the moot question, who is superior? Well, in the long run, it is believed that the pessimist may be proved right. Even so, it is a fact that the optimist has a better ride on the trip. It is obvious that the optimists who would say, “Be positive,” will end up happier than the pessimists who would grudgingly prefer to say, “Stop being so negative!”

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