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Pessimism is a state of mind that views life and its aspects from a negative perspective, especially in regard to future events.
- If you expect the worst from a person, you can't ever be disappointed. Only the disappointed resort to violence. The pessimist, which is another way of saying the Augustinian, takes a sort of gloomy pleasure in observing the depths to which human behaviour can sink. The more sin he sees, the more his belief in Original Sin is confirmed. Everyone likes to have his deepest convictions confirmed; that is one of the most abiding of human satisfactions.
- Whatever pretended pessimists in search of notoriety may say, most people are naturally kind, at heart.
- Creeds matter very little... The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. So I elect for neither label.
- James Branch Cabell, in The Silver Stallion : A Comedy of Redemption (1926)
- The essence of my optimism is constructive pessimism.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Quotes we cherish. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2013, p. 5.
- I am so often accused of gloominess and melancholy. And I think I'm probably the most cheerful man around. I don't consider myself a pessimist at all. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel completely soaked to the skin.
- Man, at least when educated, is a pessimist. He believes it safer not to reflect on his achievements; Jove is known to strike such people down.
- John Kenneth Galbraith, The Age of Uncertainty (1977)
- Immune to the blandishments of religions, countries, families, and everything else that puts both average and above-average citizens in the limelight, pessimists are sideliners in both history and the media. Without a belief in gods or ghosts, unmotivated by a comprehensive delusion, they could never plant a bomb, plan a revolution, or shed blood for a cause.
- Thomas Ligotti, in The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror
- if we see a light at the end of the tunnel,
it's the light of an oncoming train.
- Robert Lowell, in "Since 1939." Day by Day. (1977)
- This is a pleasant surprise, Archie. I would not have believed it. That of course is the advantage of being a pessimist; a pessimist gets nothing but pleasant surprises, an optimist nothing but unpleasant.