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Quotations about
Optimism & Pessimism

Bein' optimistic after you've got ever'thing you want don't count. ~Abe Martin (Kin Hubbard)

Optimism is the sunshine of the soul radiated in action. ~William George Jordan, The Crown of Individuality, 1909

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

Pessimist by policy, optimist by temperament... ~Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long, 1973

You can look at optimism and pessimism as two different outfits in your closet, and you decide each morning which one you're going to wear. ~Robert Brault,

To know the disillusionments of life, and to come enchanted still... ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXXI," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Optimism is the sunshine — pessimism is the shadow... ~Charles Edward Locke, "Seeing the Blue in the Sky," Daybreak Everywhere, 1919

To the optimist, all doors have handles and hinges; to the pessimist, all doors have locks and latches. ~William Arthur Ward, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, 1968

I would not be a pessimist with the clammy sweat of death and fear always on my brow. I should rather be an optimist, even incurring some danger of fanaticism. ~Charles Edward Locke, "Seeing the Blue in the Sky," Daybreak Everywhere, 1919

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser — in case you thought optimism was dead. ~Robert Brault

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~Gil Stern, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1971

A pessimist is a man who has been compelled to live with an optimist. ~Elbert Hubbard

...once he had been too optimistic; since that time he had been a pessimist as a fixed policy. ~Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long, 1973

An optimist sees a silver lining to every cloud; a pessimist bites the silver to see if it is real. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor

I have matured into someone I never dreamed I would become: an unbridled optimist who sees the glass as always full of something. It may be half full of water, precious in itself, but in the other half there's a rainbow that could exist only in the vacant space. ~Alice Walker, "Preface: Learning to Dance," Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, 2010

Deep optimism is aware of problems but recognizes the solutions; knows about difficulties but believes they can be overcome; sees the negative but accentuates the positive; is exposed to the worst but expects the best; has reason to complain but prefers to smile. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969

Always look on the bright side of life. Otherwise it'll be too dark to read. ~Author unknown

Cheer up!... Today may be a thing of dread — we're banking on tomorrow; there's always something just ahead that's bound to knock out sorrow. ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "Relief Coming"

An optimist is never quite so happy, nor a pessimist quite so miserable, as he professes to be. ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885

Pessimists — Moral squinters, who, being incapable of a straightforward view, imagine that penetration is evinced by universal suspicion and mistrust. ~Horace Smith

Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha. ~Robert Brault,

Of course I look at the glass half full. The only time I would look at it half empty is when I think about how good the first half tasted. ~Drew Deyoung

"Onward for ever, for evermore onward"
And ever they open their loving eyes Sunward...
The mightiest souls of all time hover o'er us,
Who laboured like Gods among men, and have gone
With great bursts of sun on the dark way before us:
They're with us, still with us, our battle fight on,
Looking down victor-browed, from the glory-crowned hill,
They beckon and beacon us on, onward still:
And the true heart's aspirings are onward, still onward;
It turns to the Future, as earth turneth Sunward.
~Gerald Massey (1828–1907), "Onward and Sunward"

Doubts are wholesome, but if I can help it, we will never issue a blankly pessimistic book to founder souls in trouble. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

But then, I daresay insects are rarely pessimists, because they don't live long enough. It is only the human young that are cynical, and they recover quickly, as if their pangs were growing pains, or cosmic colic. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919

Optimism begins in a broad grin, and Pessimism ends with blue spectacles. Besides, they are both of them merely poses. ~Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, 1895

In life's poker game, the optimist sees the pessimist's night and raises him the sunrise. ~Robert Brault,

I said, "Isn't it nice, we're all such optimists?"
"Where did you get that word?" one of them grumbled.
"That means a man that tests your eyes," Pee-wee shouted.
~Percy Keese Fitzhugh, Roy Blakeley: Lost, Strayed or Stolen, 1921

And what is the world to do with sad, insatiable, malignant, quarrelsome, grievance-cherishing people? Why must it suffer them? ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

A pessimist's blood type is always B-negative. ~Author unknown

an optimist is a guy
that has never had
much experience
~Don Marquis, "certain maxims of archy," archy and mehitabel, 1927

Optimist:  "Okay, I admit the situation is temporarily hopeless." ~Robert Brault,, 2015

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. So I elect for neither label. I merely know that, at the end of all my journeying, there remains for me only to settle down, in my comfortable castles... and to live contentedly... ~James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion, 1926

After 5000 years of recorded human history, you wonder, What part of 2,000,000 sunrises doesn't a pessimist understand? ~Robert Brault,

Optimism and encouragement are umbrellas that safely shield us from daily downpours of doubt and discouragement. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969

If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!" ~Lemony Snicket

Pitch your tents toward the sunrising! ~T. De Witt Talmage, 1884

Wearing his eyes in his heart, the optimist falls over his own feet, and calls it Progress. ~Ambrose Bierce

When an optimist becomes a professional calciminer, he is useless. ~Austin O'Malley, Keystones of Thought, 1914

O is an Optimist glad
Who doesn't know how to be sad.
If he wakes up some day
In Hades, he'll say
"Well really it isn't so bad!"
~Oliver Herford, A Little Book of Bores, 1906

The basis of optimism is sheer terror. ~Oscar Wilde

Always borrow money from a pessimist... He never expects to be paid back. ~Buffalo Express, 1910

An optimist is someone who figures that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's the bluebird of happiness. ~Robert Brault,

Optimism... The instinct to lie. ~Elbert Hubbard

It's still possible to be a cockeyed optimist these days — you just have to be a little more cockeyed. ~Robert Brault,

Optimism... A kind of heart stimulant — the digitalis of failure. ~Elbert Hubbard

It is a dear and lovely disposition, and a most valuable one, that can brush away indignities and discourtesies and seek and find the pleasanter features of an experience. ~Mark Twain

How do you tell an optimist that he or she has lived a happy life by mistake? ~Robert Brault,

Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled. ~Mark Twain

Optimism... To whistle while passing a cemetery in the night; to sing a hymn while having a tooth pulled; to smile while being robbed. ~Elbert Hubbard

...fry me an optimist for breakfast. ~Mark Twain

The realist sees reality as concrete. The optimist sees reality as clay. ~Robert Brault,

The optimist listens for notes of joy; the pessimist hears sounds of gloom. ~William Arthur Ward (1921–1994)

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist. ~Mark Twain

In early life Hans Vaihinger had playfully defined Man as a "species of ape afflicted by megalomania"; he admits that, whatever truth lies behind the definition, the statement is somewhat exaggerated. Yet it is certainly strange to observe... how many people seem to feel vain of their own ungratified optimism when the place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. They never seem to pause to reflect on the goal that lies ahead of them, though there must be a few who on looking back cannot perceive what terrible accidents they might have foreseen and avoided by the aid of a little pessimism. When the gods, to ruin a man, first make him mad, they do it, almost invariably, by making him an optimist. ~Havelock Ellis, "The Art of Thinking," The Dance of Life, 1923

He who would walk sanely amid the opposing perils in the path of life always needs a little optimism; he also needs a little pessimism. ~Havelock Ellis, "The Art of Thinking," The Dance of Life, 1923

Optimism... Fatty degeneration of intelligence. ~Elbert Hubbard

At 50 a man can be an ass without being an optimist but not an optimist without being an ass. ~Mark Twain

Real optimism is the smile of faith, the song of confidence, and the expression of hope. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969

It can be said of optimism that while sometimes mistaken, it is never sadly mistaken. ~Robert Brault,

Optimism... To believe that disease, dirt, earthquakes, fires, wars, politicians, blindness, and burial alive, celebrate the enhance the Glory of God. ~Elbert Hubbard

Optimist: person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness. ~Mark Twain

Come, fill up your glass;
And let us drink to the glories of the world.
Down with the cynic!
~Arthur Davison Ficke, Mr. Faust, 1913

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