I Don’t Know, but…

I’m not a pessimist. The worst is always out there (been there, done that) but so far so good (I’m still here as of now). As Scarlet O’Hara said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

That said, I am pretty pessimistic about the arrival of any measurable amount of snow in the Bark of Beyond. Maybe next year. There I go again.

I have a friend who is Eeyore. It’s very draining to talk to him sometimes (often) because there is hardly ever any bright-side. Pessimism is paralyzing. It sucks all the individual power and will out of an endeavor. Sometimes I want to shake him and say, “Yeah, but Dude, you have some power here. Just make it work.” Feeling that one is defeated before a journey begins is, I guess, a hedge against the possibility of failure with the added bonus of getting to be right (“I knew it wouldn’t work out.”)

The reality is that we don’t know. It’s hard for a lot of people to say “I don’t know,” since we put such a premium on certainty. That’s just my theory and it probably has a lot of holes in it, but pessimism eliminates a lot of possibilities.

Generally I just figure it’s better to try. Trying will always lead to an experience and “all experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untraveled world.” (Alfred Lord Tennisball, “Ulysses“) In my life, the pre-eminent example of THAT is when I traveled to Italy for luv. Luv didn’t work, but I got to know Milan, saw thousands of paintings, learned a LOT, ate prosciutto and arugula sandwiches from a cart on the lawn of Castello Sforza, hiked the Cinque Terre, and revisited Venice.

16 thoughts on “I Don’t Know, but…

  1. It’s sad when people walk constantly under a cloud, afraid to hope for a brighter day. Too high an initial expectation of what life should deliver? Or maybe because the pessimist does (wants to?) focus a lot on how other people have failed (them) in the past. Which we all do.

    • I think you’re onto something with the often inaccurate negative perspective on the past. My friend also looks for people not to like and situations not to work out. He doesn’t seem to want to exert his own power over himself for change, but that’s who he is. I guess he gets some payoff that I don’t understand.

  2. Maybe your Eeyore friend thinks he’s being realistic which sounds quite a bit like hedging against the possibility of failure along with the added bonus of getting to be right. Hmm-mm. This might be me! 😆

  3. I’ve been called an optimist (Pollyanna wearing rose colored glasses) and I’ve been called a pessimist…. I think I believe in each day being a new opportunity!

  4. I’ve always had trouble with this optimist/pessimist thing. When people pose the glass half full/half empty question, I always think “it’s a half glass”. Eeyore is such a great metaphor. To refer to someone as an Eeyore is clear. It also raises the question for me about people enjoying their misery; in which case I have to wonder if it is really misery.

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