Optimism is for weak people?

. 1 min read

Here's what's up:

I had an interesting conversation the other day about optimism and pessimism. I represented the side of optimism, obviously. I've never understood what value pessimism could possibly have. You can't make anything remarkable happen if you don't think it'll work out, so it's infinitely better to expect things to work out nicely.

It was then pointed out to me that optimism is just an illusion that weak people create in their minds to handle reality. Or something like that. The point was that strong people don't need these illusions of good fortune; they don't need to constantly remind themselves that things are going great and will continue to do so and that you're grateful for everything.

Pessimists can handle life without these pink sunglasses. They embrace life as the dim reality that it is.

It clicked. I got it. Perhaps optimism - in the form of deliberately paying attention to the good in the world - is weakness.

There's just one thing: if optimism makes you happier, is it really worth it to give up that happiness just to prove you're not weak?

I don't know. Perhaps there's value in such suffering. But as for myself, I don't really like needless suffering. (Suffering for a good reason is a whole other thing.)

My life got a thousand times better when I decided to pay more attention to the good than the bad; to be more grateful than resentful; to take responsibility rather than become a martyr.

If to be an optimism is to be weak, then I am weak. I don't care. Living this way is so much more fulfilling, so much more interesting, so much easier.

(Yes. Easier. I need it easy because I'm so weak.)