I am a person who is almost always characterized as a pessimist. Everyone, from my friends to my family, take a strange pleasure in constantly chastising me for my normative and expected “negative” thoughts. They tell me day and night that positive thinking is the only way to be happy, and that any ideas at the other end of the spectrum can only lead to sadness. I do not believe this bit for a second. I grew up in Las Vegas, and one of my first ever jobs was as a life guard for a pool at one of the casinos down on the strip. My boss was a young woman by the name of Karla. She was very pretty, smart, and a great boss. I thought the world of this woman to say the least. Even though she was only a few years older than I, our ways of thinking were exactly opposite. Karla had a somewhat strained relationship with her father, and she would be the first to tell you that her childhood was on the rough side. Nevertheless, she only thought in a positive manner. No matter what the subject or situation, she could find a glimmer of hope in it. Karla was the kind of person who could find a positive aspect to having cancer. She and I would playfully bicker on almost a constant basis about my usual train of thought. I told Karla that my negative outlook on most things did not necessarily mean that I was sad in any way. A negative outlook is only a counter and contradicting viewpoint on a certain situation. I had always been taught in school that it is always better to see a situation from multiple angles. A negative view is only that second angle coming in to play. Just because I do not see everything in a positive light, does not mean that I am blind to the light entirely. I often do agree with a positive viewpoint, but that does not mean that I will not bring up the negative side, just to make sure that a situation is seen from every possible angle. While Karla believed that I was blind, she latter discovered that she was the one who was blinded. Her intentions were good, but her constant positive beliefs lead her to see a world that was not reality. Not everything we know on this Earth is good, nor is it bad. While it is true that you can always find good in the bad, it is also true of the opposite. I am not a pessimist, only a realist who does not take anything for face value, good or bad.
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