Can Optimism Tide Over Pessimism Forever?


Yes, I am a pessimist at the core.

I embrace what’s grim, seek out for the negative aspects and revel in sadness. But, that’s deep within me. The outer orbit around which my core revolves is all shiny, sunny with a positive view of life. I guess if you have to survive in this long journey called life, you need optimism. It seems so ironical, because life is not exactly a happy, fun-filled journey all the time. In fact, most of the time, it is not happy, if not sad. Let’s call that ordinary. Not happy, not sad. Right in the center.

I have heard people say that life is like a sine wave, with troughs and peaks. I guess, that is again an optimistic view, because from where I stand, the peaks are far and few. Life is ordinary to a great degree, followed by sadness with a sprinkle of happiness. What if the ordinary becomes your happiness, and you don’t really care about the real happiness, the peaks in the sine wave that our life is?

That’s grim, I’d say.

“Why must I live?” – quipped a friend. He didn’t say “why should I live?”. If you look closely, there isn’t much difference in the two. The existential dimension in the ‘must’ is hard to ignore for me. I guess ‘should’ is more selfish reason, more to do with failed relationships, career etc. and a micro view of one’s life. Pessimism at its peak, but then everyone around me is not dying or committing suicide. Why?

All thanks to the strong pull of the “orbit of optimism”. Pull that draws its energy from your mind, people around us (who are equally fucked, but appear happy), and the general guidelines of living in a civilized world, being handed over from generation to generation.

There is a continuous, never ending battle between pessimism and optimism everyday. With each morning as I wake up, pessimism loses, only to gear up to come back strongly in the evening or night.

I am closely watching the battle.

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