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 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
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
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
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: A valuable protection against quackery.
JOHN RALSTON SAUL, The Doubter's Companion
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
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
Optimism is joyful searching; pessimism is a prison of fear and a clutching at illusionary safety.
KATHLEEN A. BREHONY, After the Darkest Hour
When ... the central places of your heart are covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then are you grown old, indeed!
SAMUEL ULLMAN, From the Summit of Years, Four Score
Optimism and pessimism are mere matters of optics, of how you look at things, and that can change from day to day, or with a new prescription for your glasses -- or with a new set of ideological filters.
GEORGE WEIGEL, Letters to a Young Catholic
I don't believe in pessimism. If something doesn't come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it's going to rain, it will.
CLINT EASTWOOD, American Cowboy, January/February 2000