Monday, January 18, 2010

You Just Know It Can’t Last!

optimism [op-tuh-miz-uhm]
1. a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
2. the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
3. the belief that goodness pervades reality.
4. the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.

1730–40; < F optimisme < L optim(um) (see optimum ) + F -isme -ism

pessimism [pes-uh-miz-uhm]
1. the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc.: His pessimism about the future of our country depresses me.
2. the doctrine that the existing world is the worst of all possible worlds, or that all things naturally tend to evil.
3. the belief that the evil and pain in the world are not compensated for by goodness and happiness.

1785–95; < L pessim(us), suppletive superl. of malus bad + -ism; modeled on optimism

realism [ree-uh-liz-uhm]
1. interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract, speculative, etc.
2. the tendency to view or represent things as they really are.

1810–20; real + -ism; cf. F réalisme

There is an old joke that the optimist sees the glass as half full; the pessimist sees the glass as half empty; and the realist knows that it doesn’t matter how much is in the glasses, the other two assholes are going to stiff him with buying the next round!

An analog to that based on the weather of this weekend would run something like this:
As an optimist, I believe that the string of absolutely gorgeous days is going to stretch on out indefinitely and there is plenty of time to get out and enjoy it.

As an pessimist, I believe that the string of absolutely gorgeous days is going to end as abruptly as it began; possibly sooner that would allow me to get out and really enjoy it.

As an realist, I believe that the string of absolutely gorgeous days is going to end eventually (Tuesday if the weather forecasts are to be believed…) and I had better get out now and enjoy it; may hay while the sun shines, as it were.
Being a realist at heart, I decided that after doing my morning chores around the house Saga and I should go out for a nice long walk in her park. Then, after she was comfortably ensconced back on her couch, I took out the bike and went for a ride. I knew the weather was great this weekend and, being the middle of the winter, I knew it was too good to last long!

Wherever you passed your weekend, I hope it was a lovely one!

Don Bergquist – January 18, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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