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Quotations about
Optimism and Pessimism

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

Optimism is the sunshine of the soul. ~Author unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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,

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

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

Some people are so fond of ill-luck that they run half-way to meet it. ~Douglas Jerrold, "Meeting Troubles Half-Way," 1859

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

Optimists polish the bright side’s halo. ~Terri Guillemets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Being an optimist after you've got everything you want doesn't count. ~Kin Hubbard

Optimists are nostalgic about the future. ~Chicago Tribune

Optimism is the foundation of courage. ~Nicholas Murray Butler

I am one of those people who just can't help getting a kick out of life — even when it's a kick in the teeth. ~Polly Adler

In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. ~Daniel L. Reardon

It doesn't hurt to be optimistic. You can always cry later. ~Lucimar Santos de Lima

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. ~James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion, 1926

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

An optimist is merely an ex-pessimist with his pockets full of money, his digestion in good condition, and his wife in the country. ~Helen Rowland

Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both. ~Oscar Wilde

A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad. An optimist is a man who hopes they are. ~Chauncey Mitchell Depew

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. ~Walt Disney

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

The basis of optimism is sheer terror. ~Oscar Wilde

How many pessimists end up by desiring the things they fear, in order to prove that they are right? ~Robert Mallett, Apostilles, 1972

The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. ~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923

Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn't expect to be paid back. ~Author Unknown

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