You know, when I was growing up, I was always sure that you were one or the other because that's what I was always told or taught;
You were either Optimist or Pessimist.
Quite often in recent times, I have been accused of being one or the other also, Like I had no choice in what I was and that it was based purely on the opinions of my peers;
"Matt, that's very optimistic of you!"
"It's not like you to be so pessimistic"
And so on.
I happen to think the difference with both are absolute bullshit. It's like I should belong to a particular sect or club. Like I cannot change my mind whenever I want to (And this happens with great frequency in general) or that I should be some sort of Idealist or something.
Let me clear up a few things for you right here. I am no idealist. I have great faith in human spirit, but nothing more. That's Ideal? Did you know you were included in that? Not ideal any more you say? OK
I think left-wing politics is just as fundamentally flawed as right-wing politics.
I believe in abortion and yet I hold strong the rights of any human who is brought into this world.
My opinions on illness don't change just because I am, or I know someone who is suffering from an illness all-of-a-sudden
I do not broadcast information I just learned and insist it upon the ears of those unfortunate enough to be in my company, just because I learned it the day before. Information always works best when it is required, not pressured.
I don't believe that any religion or God that man can conceptualise is worthy of being called one.
I believe everyone has their right place, and that it's not recognisable without considerable toil and journey.
I believe there is someone for everyone, only if you are willing to accept the reality of who isn't for you and man up enough to keep trying until you succeed.
Really I could go on.
There may or may not be good enough example here to bring to light exactly what I'm spouting about this time. Basically, my opinions could be classed as harsh, pessimistic or whatever, but I believe that true opinion in the hands of anyone can only be appreciated where there is proper foundation of the experience to back it up.
In other words, tried and tested methods is where I base my opinions on something, not on a misled or naive notion that it's either "always brilliant" or "always terrible".
For example, and optimist might say "We've definitely seen the last war", whereby a pessimist might say "There's definitely going to be another 1,000,000 wars"
I on the other hand, think there probably will be, by huge margin, another war, only because of evidence supporting the fact that we have always existed with war at the helm of our priorities. I think at some stage, maybe in the prime of civilisation, there will be significantly less wars, but that is only when man becomes enlightened enough to recognise that we all start at the same source and inevitably end up there too. In other words, we are all only human and deserve the exact same treatments from each other.
Realistically speaking, we are centuries from that point and have many collective mistakes to make before that realisation dawns on us. When man loses blame, victimisation complexes and the dream that material wealth is somehow all-important in our daily lives, we might realise that reality. When people let go of the idea that "confessing" how terrible you are to a priest and making small donations to a collection plate is enough to absolve you any "sin" or ignorance you carry so you might go about your greedy gluttonous lifestyle, we will never realise that reality. When people lose the idea that saying "I'm Christian" or "I'm Muslim" is good enough a reason to oppress anyone who isn't from that sect, we won't see it. When prayer loses the excuse for hoarding worldly wealth rather than sharing with the less-well-off, we will never realise our innate destiny.
Remember, it's not ideal, it's not pessimistic or blindly optimistic, but it's true.
The harsh reality is, this world has too many dreamers, too many greedy people who need "recognition" (I am somehow struck with that saying "there is no such thing as bad publicity") and way too many idealists and zealots for that ever to happen. I may be accused of being a pessimist here, but unless I can single-handedly convince everyone in the world from every country, speaking every language what the ultimate reality of humanity is, then I would just call it realism, not pessimism. And I'm not being overly optimistic in believing this :P
I would just like to say, that it's not possible for any of mankind to be overtly optimistic or pessimistic. Each has their downfall. The overly optimistic might lose a loved one and become very much pessimistic. The pessimist may in turn lose a "loved" one and think their fortune has changed. The realist knows that we all end up in the same place. There is no fortune or "luck", as it were. There is only chance. The reality is, we do not take enough chances in our lives. If you conform to blind optimism or pessimism, you will always feel hard done by.
Before I go off on any more tangents, I'll wrap this one up.