The power of optimism

Dear Hope Nation,

I started writing a beautiful, wise and insightful letter a little while ago. Unfortunately, it looked at burial practices in Colonial America for three distinct groups: suicides, drunkards and duelists. These personae non grata (“people without grace,” a phrase that is spot on here) could not be buried in the same space and the same manner as their fellow townspeople. They needed to be punished even in death.

That letter may be finished at some point, but not today. Thursday, June 25, 2020, is a nearly perfect early summer day, not a day for dwelling on despair or disparity in death. Instead, I’ve selected some quotes on the power of optimism, quotes that I, a natural pessimist, need to read regularly to keep my spirits up.

Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events. – Robert A. Heinlein

Many an optimist has become rich by buying out a pessimist. – Robert G. Allen

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit. – H.Keller

I’ve never seen a monument erected to a pessimist. – Paul Harvey

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. ? Abraham Lincoln

The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole. ? Oscar Wilde

Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be. ? George Carlin

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

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

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. – William Arthur Ward

A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them. – Leonard L Levinson

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. – George Will

Go into situations expecting nothing and you always come out getting something better than you had ever expected. – Unknown

It doesn’t hurt to be optimistic. You can always cry later. – Lucimar Santos de Lima

In optimism there is magic. In pessimism there is nothing. ~Abraham–Hicks

An optimist is the human personification of spring. ~Susan J. Bissonette

Optimists are nostalgic about the future. ~Chicago Tribune

Okay, I admit the situation is temporarily hopeless. Robert Brault

Optimism is the foundation of courage. ~Nicholas Murray Butler
Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.– Noam Chomsky

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.– Nicholas M. Butler

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

The biggest emotion in creation is the bridge to optimism.– Brian May

Sports uplift us. It’s celebratory, gives us optimism and joy.– Travis Kalanick

True hopefulness and optimism is what leads one to dare. It is also what lifts one back up to dare again after a failed attempt.– Bibi Bourelly

My optimism for life carried through my work.– John Dyer

Optimism is joyful searching; pessimism is a prison of fear and a clutching at illusionary safety.– Kathleen A. Brehony

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.– Mary Lou Retton

You matter. I matter. We matter.