I was watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night and “Iron Man 3” star Robert Downey Jr. was the guest. As usual, Stewart went off on a tangent and both started talking about random things that really had nothing to do with why the guest was on the show in the first place. At one point, if I recall correctly, Stewart asked Downey about his acting career and how he feels towards certain projects. (It was something to that degree.)
Downey brought up Chuck Missler, a renowned bible teacher I had never before knew existed. Downey paraphrased one of Missler’s quotes about optimism and pessimism and got a good laugh out of Stewart and the audience.
So, of course I had to look up the exact quote and see what the complete saying was. For your enjoyment, this is the quote in its entirety:
“The definition between a pessimist and an optimist is that the pessimist has more information! A pessimist is one who is almost always right but doesn’t enjoy it. An optimist is someone who thinks the future is uncertain.”
Whenever people ask if I’m an optimist or a pessimist, I will respond by saying I am a realist. “What does that mean?” they ask. Well, it means that I’m neither optimistic nor pessimistic; I just…am. I don’t get too high or too low, I do my best to stay even keel and toe the line between reality and sensationalism. Sometimes I lose track of where I am standing, but I find that to be a normal course of action among just about all human beings.
It’s like when people ask me what my political affiliations are; I respond by saying, “I’m a member of the Apathetic Party.” Then, the other day I was thinking about whether I actually am apathetic or whether I’m actually apoplectic. Essentially, I do care about my life and the lives of others and this strange, random, fucking crazy journey we are all on and how I want people to understand that. If I was apathetic that would mean I simply don’t care, and that may be true in terms of politics but not in terms of my overall existence.
Maybe my ideologies are ever changing, which I do not consider to be a bad thing. It’s quite healthy if you think about it. But if I consider myself to lean towards a more liberal stance in regards to social constructs, I too believe I lean more towards being a pessimist because the possibility of a porous outcome is already identified from the beginning of the race.
When you understand that the scale can tip both ways, why not just sit in the middle?