Sometimes I feel that critics, epicures, and experts of all kinds must lead such depressing lives. It’s their innate characteristic to look for perfection; but I suppose they hardly find it on a regular basis. And that must be such a constant let-down.
I, on the other hand, could never be accused of having discerning taste in anything, and feel much the happier for it. I’ve had seconds–and thirds–of food that others have called ‘passable’, I’ve enjoyed watching movies that others have labelled ‘a waste of time and money’, I’ve gladly worn hand-me-downs when others told me I looked ‘so last century’. And loved doing it all.
Experts must be such pessimists.
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I’ve lost count of the things that have been labelled ‘overrated’ in recent times. Sleep is overrated, life is overrated, blogging, taste, friendship are overrated. So now I’m officially sick and tired of the system of overrating.
Of course sleeping is not ‘overrated’ (which means ‘not worth it’ or ‘ given more importance than it deserves’); ask an insomniac if you think otherwise. Life is not overrated, and if you think it is, it means you are emotionally imbalanced and should take steps to get over your current life situation. In fact, I’ll oppose everyone who calls anything overrated; it’s such a pessimistic attitude! I believe every emotion, relationship, experience, and thing, is worthwhile. It might have a different level of importance for different people, but by itself, it is probably more underrated than the other.
Have people lost interest and faith in everything that is good; in themselves, the world? That they coolly demean everything from energy bars to existence? Or is this phrase just a mindless, meaningless fad, and will fade with passing seasons?
I fervently hope it’s the latter; because even if it implies that the masses are prone to mob behaviour, at least it also promises that sanity will return in future generations.
Yesterday I started reading PD James’ The Black Tower. And after just one chapter, I’m absolutely in love with her.
The book features one of James’ extremely popular characters, Commander Adam Dalgliesh. Although he is a poet (apart from being our hero and ‘in the Force’), he is neither the object of nor the reason for my adulations. Those are solely for the author herself.
The first chapter deals with a convalescent Dalgliesh, who has been given “a sentence of life”; after being misdiagnosed as having a terminal illness, he has been assured that he will live after all. But instead of being relieved and thankful, Adam is feeling resentful. He’d looked back at his life and his job, and had found them trivial and wanting. Now he’ll not only have to go back to the old job, but also believe that it is important to him. Above all, he’ll have to listen to other people congratulate him on his ‘lucky escape’.
This almost perverse point of view is what has hooked me. I’m hoping that the rest of the book will be as unpredictable as Dalgliesh himself.
NO! An astounding no, all in capitals.
Being a pessimist is no way to live my life! After all, a little hurt and pain–or even a lot more than a little–is part of being, period.
Sure, I may never get sad that things didn’t work out, because I’ll never expect them to work out in the first place. But I won’t get to dream either. And I won’t get to work towards trying to make my dream come true. I won’t get to plan out things in advance, and I won’t get the thrill of anticipation. Is that any way to spend one’s precious time on Earth, I ask you?
No it isn’t. I believe that my future happiness depends absolutely on my present state of mind. Only I have the power over my life. Of course there will be curve balls and unpleasantness, but the way I react to them will determine their effect on me. If I choose to take them in stride and not let them bother me, only then will I be happy.
Moreover, I truly believe in the power of our own subconscious. Which is actually the title of a book a friend recommended to me. Although I haven’t finished reading it yet, the title itself speaks amply. The cliché ‘you can do anything you put your mind to’ is actually a truism as well: you have to believe in yourself and in your goals in order to achieve them.
Having the courage of your convictions–that’s all it takes.
There’s something to be said for being a pessimist.
A person who sees the glass as ‘half empty’ all the time is at least prepared for all the curve balls and unpleasantness that life invariably and unceasingly offers. Moreover, every slightly positive occurrence is a boon to a pessimist; like when he expects a hailstorm and it just turns out to be a drizzle.
An optimist on the other hand must be the saddest person on earth. Nothing can ever go the way he expects it to. Like when he expects a PlayStation and gets a subscription to the gym instead; I can totally imagine his hurt and pain! I’m sure it becomes extremely tiresome after a while to be on the lookout for a silver lining but find lumps of coal instead.
I had a perfectly satisfactory, happy life when I was a Pessimist. Then I changed teams, but optimism only brought me to a place where there was nothing but dullness, desolation and depression.
Pessimism is Safe. Easy.
Optimism breaks your heart in the long run.