Top Pessimism Quotes

Browse top 84 famous quotes and sayings about Pessimism by most favorite authors.

Favorite Pessimism Quotes

1. "If cynicism and love lie at opposite ends of a spectrum, do we not sometimes fall in love in order to escape the debilitating cynicism to which we are prone? Is there not in every coup de foudre a certain willful exaggeration of the qualities of the beloved, an exaggeration which distracts us from our habitual pessimism and focuses our energies on someone in whom we can believe in a way we have never believed in ourselves?"
Author: Alain De Botton
2. "Talkativeness is a symptom of deep-seated pessimism. Without it there would be no pessimistic literature."
Author: Albert Vigoleis Thelen
3. "Pessimism of the spirit; optimism of the will."
Author: Antonio Gramsci
4. "Pessimism is a denial of the reality of God and the power man draws from being connected to it."
Author: Arianna Huffington
5. "So this, thought Jan, with a resignation that lay beyond all sadness, was the end of man. It was an end that no prophet had foreseen – an end that repudiated optimism and pessimism alike.Yet it was fitting: it had the sublime inevitability of a great work of art. Jan had glimpsed the universe in all its immensity, and knew now that it was no place for man. He realized at last how vain, in the ultimate analysis, had been the dream that lured him to the stars.For the road to the stars was a road that forked in two directions, and neither led to a goal that took any account of human hopes or fears."
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
6. "Faith is a luxury for those who are able to ignore what the rest of us must see every day. Pessimism, distrust, and irony are the holy trinity of my religion, irony in particular."
Author: Brando Skyhorse
7. "Pessimism and optimism are slammed up against each other in my records, the tension between them is where it's all at, it's what lights the fire."
Author: Bruce Springsteen
8. "Life...as God intended it enables us to live above the drag of fear, superstition, shame, pessimism, guilt, anxiety, worry, and all the negativity that keeps people from seizing each day as a gift from Him."
Author: Charles R. Swindoll
9. "Seeing the glass as half empty is more positive than seeing it as half full. Through such a lens the only choice is to pour more. That is righteous pessimism."
Author: Criss Jami
10. "Though there are many differences between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, they are strikingly similar in their poor economic records and even more so in their shared pessimism and bearishness on America."
Author: David Limbaugh
11. "Ozzie Boone...insists that I keep the tone light in these biographical manuscripts. He believes that pessimism is strictly for people who are over-educated and unimaginative. Ozzie counsels me that melancholy is a self-indulgent form of sorrow.By writing in an unrelievedly dark mode, he warns, the writer risks culturing darkness in his heart, becoming the very thing that he decries."
Author: Dean Koontz
12. "Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old. And then, indeed as the ballad says, you just fade away"
Author: Douglas MacArthur
13. "Per avere una visione nera del mondo bisogna infatti averci prima creduto. Ed è ancora più curioso e paradossale il fatto che i pessimisti, una volta delusi, non siano costantemente e sistematicamente disperati, e che in un certo senso sembrino disposti a rinnovare la loro speranza in ogni momento, pur dissimulandosi dietro la nera apparenza di amareggiati universali, in virtù di una sorta di pudore metafisico, come se il pessimismo, per conservarsi sempre forte e vigoroso avesse bisogno ogni tanto di una nuova e micidiale delusione."
Author: Ernesto Sabato
14. "But suspense presupposes uncertainty. No matter how nightmarish the situation, real suspense is impossible when we know in advance that the protagonist will prevail (as we would if Woolrich had used series characters) or will be destroyed. This is why, despite his congenital pessimism, Woolrich manages any number of times to squeeze out an upbeat resolution. Precisely because we can never know whether a particular novel or story will be light or dark, allegre or noir, his work remains hauntingly suspenseful.("Introduction")"
Author: Francis M. Nevins
15. "Pessimism is not in being tired of evil but in being tired of good. Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy. It is when for some reason or other good things in a society no longer work that the society begins to decline; when its food does not feed, when its cures do not cure, when its blessings refuse to bless."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
16. "You know, the pessimism which exists now in the Middle East existed in Northern Ireland, but we stayed at it."
Author: George J. Mitchell
17. "Pessimism is as American as apple pie - frozen apple pie with a slice of processed cheese."
Author: George Will
18. "Il pessimismo radicale sconfina nell'ottimismo."
Author: Guido Morselli
19. "He talked about luck and fate and numbers coming up, yet he never ventured a nickel at the casinos because he knew the house had all the percentages. And beneath his pessimism, his bleak conviction that all the machinery was rigged against him, at the bottom of his soul was a faith that he was going to outwit it, that by carefully watching the signs he was going to know when to dodge and be spared. It was fatalism with a loophole, and all you had to do to make it work was never miss a sign. Survival by coordination, as it were. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who can see it coming and jump aside. Like a frog evading a shillelagh in a midnight marsh."
Author: Hunter S. Thompson
20. "One has to have the courage of one's pessimism."
Author: Ian McEwan
21. "Early June, Providence, Rhode Island, the sun up for almost two hours already, lighting up the pale bay and the smokestacks of the Narragansett Electric factory, rising like the sun on the Brown University seal emblazoned on all the pennants and banners draped up over campus, a sun with a sagacious face, representing knowledge. But this sun--the one over Providence--was doing the metaphorical sun one better, because the founders of the university, in their Baptist pessimism, had chosen to depict the light of knowledge enshrouded by clouds, indicating that ignorance had not yet been dispelled from the human realm, whereas the actual sun was just now fighting its way through cloud cover, sending down splintered beams of light and giving hope to the squadrons of parents, who'd been soaked and frozen all weekend, that the unseasonable weather might not ruin the day's activities."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
22. "I particularly scorn my fondness for paradox. I despise pessimism, narcissism, solipsism, truculence, word-play, and pusillanimity, my chiefer inclinations; loathe self-loathers ergo me; have no pity for self-pity and so am free of that sweet baseness. I doubt I am. Being me's no joke."
Author: John Barth
23. "...we should all fortify ourselves against the dark hours of depression by cultivating a deep distrust of the certainties of despair. Despair is relentless in the certainties of its pessimism. But we have seen again and again, from our own experience and others', that absolute statements of hopelessness that we make in the dark are notoriously unreliable. Our dark certainties are not sureties."
Author: John Piper
24. "Sexual pessimism: The equation of sexual love outside the prerequisites of reproduction with death."
Author: Lawrence Osborne
25. "To believe that man's aggressiveness or territoriality is in the nature of the beast is to mistake some men for all men, contemporary society for all possible societies, and, by a remarkable transformation, to justify what is as what needs must be; social repression becomes a response to, rather than a cause of, human violence. Pessimism about man serves to maintain the status quo. It is a luxury for the affluent, a sop to the guilt of the politically inactive, a comfort to those who continue to enjoy the amenities of privilege."
Author: Leon Eisenberg
26. "Don't pessimism and caution naturally go hand in hand?"
Author: Lynne Truss
27. "Dad always warned that it was misleading when one imagined people, when one sas them in the Mind's Eye, because one never remembered them as they really were, with as many inconsistencies as there were hairs on a human head (100,000 to 200,000). Instead, the mind used a lazy shorthand, smoothed the person over into their most dominating characteristic--their pessimism or insecurity (something really being lazy, turning them into either Nice or Mean)--and one made the mistake of judging them from this basis alone and risked, on a subsequent encounter, being dangerously surprised."
Author: Marisha Pessl
28. "You better watch out, or you're going to be defeated by pessimism!"
Author: Matthew Quick
29. "The past doesn't change no matter how much time you spend thinking about it. Good and bad all add up to the whole. Take away one piece, no matter how small, and the whole changes. Whether it's optimism, pessimism or fatalism, I don't spend my time wishing for the past to be different so present would be different, too. I control my future with what I choose now."
Author: Megan Hart
30. "When a country is strong... it accepts any dose of pessimism from its writers."
Author: Michel Houellebecq
31. "I have a hunch that our obsession with photography arises from an unspoken pessimism; it is our nature to believe the good things will not last. . . But photos provide a false sense of security> like our flawed memory, they are guaranteed to fade. . . . We take photographs in order to remember, but it is in the nature of a photograph to forget (pg 157)"
Author: Michelle Richmond
32. "Overoptimism Is More Dangerous Than Overpessimism"
Author: Miles Anthony Smith
33. "A bug lies in quiet repose;when he passed no one knows.Did he suffer, was he pained?Before he died, was knowledge gained?Were all life's pressures much too great.To put upon so small a weight?Although not one for pessimism,I think he died of journalism!"
Author: Nikhil Sharda
34. "We are swimming upstream against a great torrent of disorganization...In this, our main obligation is to establish arbitrary enclaves of order and system...It is the greatest possible victory to be, to continue to be, and to have been. No defeat can deprive us of the success of having existed for some moment of time in a universe that seems indifferent to us.This is no defeatism...The declaration of our own nature and the attempt to build up an enclave of organization in the face of nature's overwhelming tendency to disorder is an insolence against the gods and the iron necessity that they impose. Here lies tragedy, but here lies glory too...All this represents the manner in which I believe I have been able to add something positive to the pessimism of...the existensialists. I have not replaced the gloom of existence by a philosophy which is optimistic in any Pollyanna sense, but...with a positive attitude toward the universe and toward our life in it."
Author: Norbert Wiener
35. "Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time."
Author: Norman Cousins
36. "SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: … But may I ask, at heart, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Those seem to be the only two fashionable religions left to us nowadays.MRS CHEVELEY: Oh, I'm neither. Optimism begins in a broad grin, and Pessimism ends with blue spectacles. Besides, they are both of them merely poses.SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: You prefer to be natural?MRS CHEVELEY: Sometimes. But it is such a very difficult pose to keep up.(Act I., lines 132-140)"
Author: Oscar Wilde
37. "People misunderstand happiness. They think it's the absence of trouble. That's not happiness, that's luck. Happiness is the ability to live well alongside trouble. No two people have the same trouble, or the same way of metabolizing it. Q.E.D.: No two happy people are happy in the same way. Even Tolstoy was afraid to admit this, and I don't blame him. Every day brilliant people, people smarter than I, wallow in safe tragedy and pessimism, shying from what really takes guts: recognizing how much courage and labor happiness demands."-Tracy Farber"
Author: Rachel Kadish
38. "We're living among infinite possibilities. And the prevalent philosophies of post-modernist pessimism that come out of the universities are really a major tragedy. The opportunities for progress and change… are absolutely tremendous. Anybody who tells you that we're running out of resources or in a terrible mess--they are idiots. We can't run out of resources. Resources exist when the human mind sees how to use something. To say we are running out of resources is like saying we are running out of brain cells."
Author: Robert Anton Wilson
39. "Pessimism, she is a fond friend of yours, yes?" -That's uncalled for. I barely know her. Mere acquaintances, at best."
Author: Robert Jordan
40. "Il faut savoir allier le pessimisme de l´intelligence à l´optimisme de la volonté."
Author: Romain Rolland
41. "Blending hard-bitten realism with long-view optimism, Obama said that every 20 or 30 years brings a new cycle of pessimism in America."
Author: Ron Fournier
42. "When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, have you grown old."
Author: Samuel Ullman
43. "Certainly, Gandhi is not inferior to Christ in goodness and sanctity, and he surpasses him in touching humility. Gandhi is the prophet of hope in this age of pessimism and disillusionment. He is a promise of sanity in the madness induced by our world's heedless drinking at the fount of war."
Author: Sudhir Kakar
44. "It is generally the trustful and optimistic people who can afford to retreat. The loveless and faithless ones are compelled by their pessimism to attack."
Author: T.H. White
45. "Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child's play."
Author: Thomas Hardy
46. "One brain's blueprint may promote joy more readily than most; in another, pessimism reigns. Whether happiness infuses or eludes a person depends, in part, on the DNA he has chanced to receive. (152)"
Author: Thomas Lewis
47. "It seems almost oxymoronic to believe that this new idealism has led to a new pessimism about marriage, but that is exactly what has happened. In generations past there was far less talk about "compatibility" and finding the ideal soul mate. Today we are looking for someone who accepts us as we are and fulfills our desires, and this creates an unrealistic set of expectations that frustrates both the searchers and the searched for."
Author: Timothy Keller
48. "Little Pessimism in life reminds of staying alive and not wandering in a fairy land."
Author: Vikram Adhikari
49. "What New England is, is a state of mind, a place where dry humor and perpetual disappointment blend to produce an ironic pessimism that folks from away find most perplexing"
Author: Willem Lange
50. "Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power."
Author: William James

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It felt like there was a whole world living inside her. I didn't know anything about that world."
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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