quotations about pessimism
Better to assume the worst and be wrong than assume the best and be wrong. Pessimism will keep you alive, optimism won't.
LAURELL K. HAMILTON, Obsidian Butterfly
We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH, London Observer, April 3 1977
I will be the first to admit that I am a pessimist by nature. It is, after all, the wisest way to be. We pessimists have everything to gain, whereas optimists have a fifty-fifty chance of being disappointed.
TAMAR MYERS, As the World Churns
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.
HELEN KELLER, Optimism
Pessimism ... is, in brief, playing the sure game ... It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed.
THOMAS HARDY, note, January 1, 1902
Optimism is life--Pessimism, slow suicide.
WILLIAM CROSBIE HUNTER, Brass Tacks
I can easily picture the worst, because the worst can easily happen.
EUGENE IONESCO, Rhinoceros
I like pessimists. They're always the ones who bring life jackets for the boat.
LISA KLEYPAS, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor
Immune to the blandishments of religions, countries, families, and everything else that puts both average and above-average citizens in the limelight, pessimists are sideliners in both history and the media. Without a belief in gods or ghosts, unmotivated by a comprehensive delusion, they could never plant a bomb, plan a revolution, or shed blood for a cause.
THOMAS LIGOTTI, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror
Optimism has to be balanced by pessimism to give a true picture of our existence. It would be naïve to expect the best outcome to keep on arriving just because that suits us better: the world just does not work that way.
STUART SIM, A Philosophy of Pessimism
Our modern pessimists cannot see a tree, a flower, or a mountain, but straightway they drop into what I may call a falling sickness, and all the beauty of the woods, fields, and sky merely suggests to them a picturesque background for their own superior sighs and sorrows.
ALFRED AUSTIN, The Bridling of Pegasus
To the timid heart, to the child of unbelief and dread,
That leaneth on his own weak staff, and trusteth the sight of his eyes,
The evil he feared shall come, for the soil is ready for the seed.
MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, Proverbial Philosophy
Pessimism: A valuable protection against quackery.
JOHN RALSTON SAUL, The Doubter's Companion
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
JAMES BRANCH CABELL, The Silver Stallion
Pessimism negates the existing world. Yet its negating is ambiguous. It can simply will decay and nothingness, but it can also renounce what exists and thus open a path for a new formation of the world.
MARTIN HEIDEGGER, Nietzsche
Pessimism is carefully cultivated in some intellectual circles, as if it were a precious plant that the human race could not afford to lose.
ARTHUR LYNCH, Moods of Life
Pessimism drops the curtain on tomorrow.
ROBERT H. SCHULLER, Don't Throw Away Tomorrow
The pessimism that protests and defends itself cannot be truly said to be pessimism.
MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO, Tragic Sense of Life
Pessimism is the product of a hostile social state. Its answer is the substitution of a friendly social state. If this can be done it will disappear.
LESTER FRANK WARD, The Psychic Factors of Civilization
My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of other pessimists.
JEAN ROSTAND, Journal of a Character