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Liliane Limpens insight view 16 juni 2017

NOS Journaal

25 juli 2017 Update

Pessimism - prepare for the worst


Pessimism has a bad reputation, but really it is one of the kindest and most generous of philosophies.  


We live in an insanely optimistic world, encouraged from all sides to see things positively.

But this optimism often leads us to sadness, anger and frustration when the reality of the world cannot meet our expectations.  
An attitude of pessimism provides a much-needed antidote to this oppressive modern demand to see the glass half-full.   
Pessimism is not a philosophy of despair; rather it is a wise attitude which knows that expecting the worst is the best way to stave off surprise and bitterness.  
It prepares us for misfortune, reduces the tension of expectations, and helps us encounter disappointment with good humour and grace.  
Stepping out on a mid-June day with an umbrella in tow may seem unnecessary, but only these wise pessimists will stay dry in a chance summer downpour.  
This umbrella sagely invites us to step out into the world certain of the inevitability of suffering, loss, anxiety and, perhaps, some rain.  

Alain de Button


School of Life