Firstly, I hate how people view optimists as naive, or stupid, or as
people who’ve never experienced pain in their lives and are happy all
the time. No. That’s not what defines an optimist. Take me, for example.
I’m mature for my age, highly intelligent, I go through a full range of
emotions from elation to rage to misery, and I’ve been through more
hurt than I’ve told most people. Legitimate pain, too, not just typical
whiny-teenage-girl stuff. Being an optimist is not a flaw that should be
looked down upon. I’m tired of people treating me like my opinion
doesn’t matter just because I choose to see past the pain I feel in
preference of the beauty in the world around me.
Optimists are a hell of a lot stronger than people think they are. Do
you realize how easy it is to become cynical or a pessimist? A lot of
people I know—most of my friends, actually—are either, if not both, of
the two. Heck, people can become cynical even after one small thing
doesn’t go their way. And while I don’t look down upon pessimists for
how they see the world, I find I have to disagree. If you live your life
with a negative mindset, honestly, how can you be happy? I feel as
though people who choose to see nothing but the negative side of things
are just asking to be miserable. Which, in some cases, is to be
expected, because I believe that humans are inclined to pity themselves
to a certain extent—but taking that into consideration, you have to give
a whole lot more credit to optimists, because they’ve managed to push
past the self-pitying nature of humankind to see what’s truly beautiful
in themselves and the world around them. Defying human nature. That’s fucking hard, don’t you think? Defying something that you were psychologically programmed to do through use of your own sheer willpower. How can someone not see an optimist as a strong person when you consider that? To me, it seems practically superhuman.
But maybe I’m just biased. ;)
But being an optimist is not something you just up and become, oh no.
It’s not something that you can leave so easily either when things
don’t seem to be working out for you. A true optimist is defined by unwavering
optimism. Now, I don’t mean an optimist has to be happy all the time,
or is not allowed to feel any pain, or can’t think a certain situation
would end poorly, or can’t dislike someone. That’s just ridiculous. But a
true optimist is someone who, at the end of the day, has felt pain in
its many forms and still chooses to be happy—someone who realizes that
we can only be as sad as we allow ourselves to be, and summons the
strength to push past that pain in order to allow happiness into his or
Optimists are the people you go to when you’re feeling low and need
someone to cheer you up. An optimist will tell you everything that is
beautiful about yourself and will always be there when you need a
shoulder to cry on. But because optimists have such positive
dispositions, people don’t notice that they may be feeling upset until
they do something drastic. Because optimists typically seem happy, most
people dismiss the idea that there may be anything bothering them. As a
result, optimists usually get the short end of the stick when it comes
to other people being there to help them through tough times. It takes a lot of strength to be there for other people when almost no one does the same for you.
It’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds. But I really think there is a
genuine strength to people who can go through a lot of pain and
acknowledge that there are a lot of things wrong with the world yet
still see it as a beautiful place. How forgiving and strong do you have
to be to continually and genuinely love something that repeatedly hurts
you? Most people don’t have the willpower for that.
Athletes are often commended for their abilities to train and
condition their bodies in order to perfect their sport, even to the
point of being considered heroes. In the same way, optimists train and
condition their minds to remain positive through even the darkest times,
yet seldom receive praise. Furthermore, there are few trainers
available for optimists—most of the time, we have to develop a positive
state of mind entirely on our own. So why shouldn’t optimists be
But despite the strength of optimists, we’re constantly looked down
upon by people who think they know better than us, people who are
convinced that we just “don’t get it”. What’s there not to get? Just
because we don’t pity you or try to show you a path that doesn’t result
in you wallowing in your misery doesn’t mean we don’t understand your
pain. People have a tendency to ignore the (often good!) advice of
optimists because (1) it’s not what they want to hear, (2) it doesn’t
give them immediate results, or (3) a combination of the two. I can’t
describe how many times this has happened to me. Honestly, it feels like
a slap in the face, because a person you’re genuinely trying to help
essentially denies something that happens to be part of your way of life
simply because they don’t want to try it, or have tried it in the past
and failed. True optimists don’t give up like that—and everyone
I know has wanted to give up on something in life, even optimists like
myself. But what differentiates true optimists from other people is that
an optimist doesn’t give up on thinking positively, no matter how bleak the situation may be.
It takes a lot of work to maintain an optimistic lifestyle. So how
the fuck does that make an optimist any less credible than a pessimist?
How is pessimism taken seriously when it’s so much more difficult to
foster love than it is to succumb to negativity? And even regardless of
that, how is pessimism considered a more credible way of life when
optimists are generally much happier people than pessimists are? It just
doesn’t make sense to me.
I’m not trying to convert anyone or to insult anyone’s lifestyle. But I feel this needed to be said.