Carefully Considered Optimism

Sunday, February 23, 2014 – Carefully Considered Optimism

If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism. ~ Oscar Wilde

The basis of optimism is sheer terror. ~ Oscar Wilde

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable. ~ Voltaire

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power. ~ William James

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. ~ Vaclav Havel

Optimism is the opium of the people. ~ Milan Kundera

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Optimism – the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Optimism with some experience behind it is much more energizing than plain old experience with a certain degree of cynicism. ~ Twyla Tharp

The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. ~ Havelock Ellis

I find nothing more depressing than optimism. ~ Paul Fussell

Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs – loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love – can be elusive to humans. ~ John Grogan

Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality. I’m a realist. ~ Margaret Atwood

I don’t think in terms of optimism and pessimism when writing a story. I am telling a story. ~ Doris Lessing

Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism. ~ Arnold Bennett

If pessimism is despair, optimism is cowardice and stupidity. Is there any need to choose between them? ~ Francis Parker Yockey

Optimism is inevitably the last hope of the defeated. ~ Albert Meltzer

Optimism is not inherently a superior way of viewing the world. Certainly doctors will say it might be better for one’s physical health to be an optimist. But, morally speaking it may not be appropriate in certain circumstances. ~ Todd Solondz

Post-modernism is modernism with the optimism taken out. ~ Robert Hewison

What passes for optimism is most often the effect of an intellectual error. ~ Raymond Aron

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. ~ James Branch Cabell

If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others. ~ Philip K. Dick

For myself, I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use to be anything else. ~ Winston Churchill

A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it. ~ George Bernard Shaw

By four o’clock, I’ve discounted suicide in favor of killing everyone else in the entire world instead. ~ Warren Ellis

Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. ~ Stephen Colbert

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little. ~ Mark Twain

An optimist is a man who has never had much experience. ~ Don Marquis

When you’re still too young to shave, optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure. ~ Stephen King

One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything’s fine today, that is our illusion. ~ Voltaire

I know we’re not saints or virgins or lunatics; we know all the lust and lavatory jokes, and most of the dirty people; we can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don’t know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don’t care that we don’t. ~ Dylan Thomas

I like to see the glass as half full, hopefully of Jack Daniels. ~ Darynda Jones

Keep a light, hopeful heart. But expect the worst. ~ Joyce Carol Oates

God surely did not create us, and cause us to live, with the sole end of wishing always to die. I believe, in my heart, we were intended to prize life and enjoy it, so long as we retain it. Existence never was originally meant to be that useless, blank, pale, slow-trailing thing it often becomes to many, and is becoming to me, among the rest. ~ Charlotte Brontë

In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. ~ Carl Sandburg

Such is the influence which the condition of our own thoughts, exercises, even over the appearance of external objects. Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colours are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision. ~ Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

I’d love to try to sell a blank white canvas to an art dealer. And when he asks what it is, I’d tell him, “It’s a landscape painting of Key West, from the perspective of an optimistic blind man.” ~ Jarod Kintz

One of the cafés had that brilliant idea of putting up a slogan: “The best protection against infection is a good bottle of wine'” – which confirmed an already prevalent opinion that alcohol is a safeguard against infectious disease. Every night, towards 2 a.m., quite a number of drunk men, ejected from the cafés, staggered down the streets, vociferating optimism. ~ Albert Camus, The Plague

Optimists think badly, but live well. ~ Marty Rubin

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