16 July 2008

Rose-Coloured Glasses - the sequel

I've been reading up on this subject this week. I've rediscovered Voltaire's Candide (which I haven't studied since I left school); I've read some quite heavy theology from a Catholic website and I've taken stock of my own life in context of it all.

Some Quotations on Optimism:
Charlotte Bronte: "I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward."
Sydney Harris: "When I hear somebody sigh, "Life is hard," I am always tempted to ask, "Compared to what?"

Some Quotations on Pessimism:
Helen Keller: "No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."
Oscar Wilde: "A Pessimist is one who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both."
Clare Boothe Luce: "No good deed goes unpunished." (one of my favourite quotations, although I don't think it pessimistic)

I think the best example I've found from the world at large is Abraham Lincoln. Despite some periods of depression, he was an optimist. He taught himself to read, had numerous failures but succeeded in becoming US President in 1860.

And of course we have an excellent example in Job. He lost it all - his children, his health, his finances, the encouragement of his wife. His friends even gave him bad advice (... familiar...) Finally we read in Job 13:15 - "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him."

1 comment:

Andrew Bale said...

Keep on believing Jesus is near
Keep on believing there's nothing to fear,
Keep on believing this is the way
Faith in the night as well as the day!