As a philosophy, Pessimism is self-destructive. The mind which conceives the good and the ideal is made in the same breath to deny their value.
Pessimism about man serves to maintain the status quo. It is a luxury for the affluent, a sop to the guilt of the politically inactive, a comfort to those who continue to enjoy the amenities of privilege.
For those facing a long haul and a series of defeats, pessimism can be an ally. Apart from anything else, as some Native Americans have also discovered, the presentation of the bleakest and starkest possible picture can have the paradoxical effect of mobilizing the emotions and intellect.
Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerves give to wisdom.
We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guild or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
The power by virtue of which Christianity was able to overcome first Judaism, and then the heathenism of Greece and Rome, lies solely on its pessimism, in the confession that our state is both exceedingly wretched and sinful, while Judaism and heathenism were both optimistic.
Pessimism is only the name that people of weak nerves give to wisdom.
Optimism is an alienated form of faith, pessimism an alienated form of despair. If one truly responds to man and his future, ie, concernedly and "responsibly." one can respond only by faith or by despair. Rational faith as well as rational despair are based on the most thorough, critical knowledge of all the factors that are relevant for the survival of man.
The test of all beliefs is their practical effect in life. If it be true that optimism compels the world forward, and pessimism retards it, then it is dangerous to propagate a pessimistic philosophy.
Let pessimism once take hold of the mind, and life is all topsy-turvy, all vanity and vexation of spirit. There is no cure for individual or social disorder, except in forgetfulness and annihilation. "Let us eat, drink and be merry," says the pessimist, "for to-morrow we die." If I regarded my life from the point of view of the pessimist, I should be undone. I should seek in vain for the light that does not visit my eyes and the music that does not ring in my ears. I should beg night and day and never be satisfied. I should sit apart in awful solitude, a prey to fear and despair. But since I consider it a duty to myself and to others to be happy, I escape a misery worse than any physical deprivation.
Every optimist moves along with progress and hastens it, while every pessimist would keep the worlds at a standstill. The consequence of pessimism in the life of a nation is the same as in the life of the individual. Pessimism kills the instinct that urges men to struggle against poverty, ignorance and crime, and dries up all the fountains of joy in the world.
The most prolific period of pessimism comes at twenty-one, or thereabouts, when the first attempt is made to translate dreams into reality.
Jealousy is the refuse of the heart... Criticism, indifference, pessimism are the three things which close the door of the heart.
I find the audiences very excited. But then they come and say to me, your optimism has brushed off on me. I didn't know we had an option. I feel so much better. They say, your optimism. And I am not optimistic or pessimistic. I feel that optimism and pessimism are very unbalanced. I am a very hard engineer. I am a mechanic. I am a sailor. I am an air pilot. I don't tell people I can get you across the ocean with my ship unless I know what I'm talking about.
Too much pessimism has led too many men into making serious mistakes. And perhaps part of our pessimism comes because we are too close to ourselves to see in proper perspective.
The novels and poems which proceed from writers in the grip of this barren pessimism are of the kind which make narrow moralists fume, and use words like decadence; the writers rejoice, because making narrow moralists (who are usually frightened people) hop with rage is a sign that they have hit a mark, and they do not understand how poor and easy a mark it is.
It's not how old you are, it's how hard you work at it.
Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being's heart a love of wonder; the sweet amazement at the stars and starlike things and thoughts; the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what comes next, and the joy in the game of life.
Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice DEEP LOOKING directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha. --
Philosophy is harmonized knowledge making a harmonious life; it is the self-discipline which lifts us to serenity and freedom. Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty.