Realism, The Last Refuge Of The Reluctant Pessimist
Michael Joseph Farrelly Quote
Optimism and pessimism is not a question of choosing the red pill or the blue pill. They are mental attitudes honed by life. When all is said and done, the realist will drink the water without questioning how full or empty the glass is.
All philosophical roads tend to lead to moral pessimism or metaphysical pessimism with the former being subjective and the latter being objective. Both can be treated with a healthy dose of pragmatism. Unfortunately the pragmatic path to realism is not an easy one to navigate.
The pendulum of optimism and pessimism can only be balanced by realism or propaganda. The journey to realism can only be taught by life or an acute understanding of philosophical history. The play-book to propagandised narrative control is achieved institutionally, this is not a realm for free thinking individuals and not covered in this article.
Initially, there is no choice between optimism and pessimism. Both are emotional feelings filtered through your beliefs and experiences. The balancing of the scales of optimism and pessimism is an art to be mastered best by pragmatism. This is the realm of the realist.
The Stubborn Optimists
There are hardcore optimists that refuse to bow from their beliefs. Many achieve success through societal position or pure luck. But, they are a minority. The statesman Winston Churchill was attributed with a quote that sums the stubborn optimists to a tee:
"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm".
However, sooner or later the confidence of the eternal optimist will come through to achieve the success so sought after.
The Filter Of Life
Not everyone can continue to face the world through the lens of optimism. The journey through the filter of life is arduous. In seeking meaning, the filter of life guides the disillusioned optimist to glimpse a glimmer of pessimistic light at the end of the tunnel.
The Reluctant Pessimist
Very few want to be a pessimist. The optimistic young often become the reluctant pessimist as life chips away at hopes and dreams. Once the optimist acknowledges the grind and begins to accept pessimism then life begins to feel more acceptable.
Disappointments no longer feel so burdensome as they are to be expected. But, it is difficult for pessimists to achieve success. The overwhelming feeling of negativity wallows in the safety net of pessimism. It is risk control from the emotional drain of hope inflicted by life.
Yet, even in the pits of pessimism hope springs eternal.
The Path From Pessimism To Pragmatism
The path from pessimism to pragmatism is pocked with pitfalls and philosophical pedagogies. Pessimism is a bitter pill for any optimist to swallow.
There are traps to be wary of. Many pessimists find relief in believing that whatever happens is actually for the best. It is here that compromise, if left unchecked, may be taken too far. Finding false faith is an illusion. Unthinking gratitude for what is, is actually a concession for what could be.
Pessimism As A Base
Pessimism is a good base for the journey to realism. Hope is the best anchor to seek benefit or opportunity from every negative thought that is controlling your mind. For every door that closes there is a choice to not look over your shoulder thinking what could have been, but, to look for another door and to think what could be.
At this point, accepting negativity is a given. Wallowing in negativity is a choice. Likewise, finding something positive about every negative situation is also a choice.
It can be as simple as training your mind to look for a bright side to every dark notion. Gallows humour can alleviate the downward spiral of negativity from dragging you further into the mire. Smiling in the face of adversity is the antidote to affirm assuagement.
The pessimist is unquestioning in the face of authoritative figures, there is an outcome acceptance of negative inevitability, whereas the optimist is more likely to find a favourable niche to position themselves. The realist is more likely to question outcomes, but regardless of dénouements, will use pragmatism to get on with life.
The Evolution Of Optimism To Pessimism To Realism
The road to realism is a perseverance of purpose against seemingly, at the time, impossible odds. The journey from optimist to pessimist is seldom pleasant and paved with reluctant acceptance. The evolution to realism is enlightened by accepting the scars of life and finding meaning in the pragmatism of the will to succeed.
In the same way it always seems darkest before the dawn, realism is the last refuge of the reluctant pessimist, the final destination in an arduous journey of understanding from the youth of optimism to the worldly wise wisdom of realism.
Article By: Michael Joseph Farrelly
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