I generally tend to be optimistic. However, in light of my optimism, people tell me that I’m sometimes unrealistic. And when people look at the negative side, they tend to tell me that they’re just being realistic.
One day, when I was in college, I looked outside and said, “Wow, it’s a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining, and the clouds are white and puffy!”
Without hesitation, my friend said, “Yeah, well, it’s going to rain tomorrow.” So, basically, the sun isn’t going to last.
This short scene from my college days reminds me that “pessimistic” is not a synonym for “realistic.” I chose to focus on the positive, that it was a beautiful day and that the sun was shining. My friend chose to focus on the negative, that the sun wasn’t going to last and the rain was coming tomorrow. Both were true, but which one did I choose to focus on? The one that made me happier.
Life is all about perspective. For example, my apartment is both a great place to live and a terrible place to live. Our little home is clean, spacious, and affordable, but we also have noisy neighbors, and it’s a little far from our friends and family. Everything I told you is real and true, but because our apartment is neutral, I choose to focus on the positive. We truly are blessed to have such a great place!
By definition, optimism is: “the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.” On the other hand, by definition, pessimism is: “the belief that the evil and pain in the world are not compensated for by goodness and happiness” (both definitions are from Dictionary.com). So, in essence, pessimists believe that the evil in the world outweighs the goodness. While the world isn’t perfect, I know that God has given us power to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). God is good, and He is the all-powerful, Almighty God. There is no power greater than His. To believe that God is not enough to overcome the evil in front of us, is to be a true pessimist. It doesn’t sound too faithful, though, does it?
Ultimately, we don’t know the future. Only God does. If we claim that our situation will definitely get worse, we are taking the place of God. Sure, our circumstances can make us believe that the future isn’t bright, but God is in control. Whether it rains or shines tomorrow, let’s thank God for the sunshine He’s put in our lives today.