Pessimism vs Optimism (We Need Both)

By Rogers Wanambwa



1. A general belief that bad things will happen.
2. The doctrine that this world is the worst of all possible worlds.


1. A tendency to expect the best, or at least, a favourable outcome.
2. The doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds.

Today, I had to be in Kampala very early to catch a meeting with one of our clients (well it is a group of people but that is beside the point). As is normally the case on most occasions, I was the first in place for it.

I found several people among whom was a lady (a practicing advocate) and a kid. The lady was telling the girl, whom I should mention at this point was not her daughter, that there are no real friends and she (the kid) should never tell any friend her secrets.

The girl asserted that there are in fact real friends who can be there for you.
They ended up at an impasse. This moment had me thinking about many things.

For example, how articulate the girl (who told me she is 8 years upon asking) is and how firm and assertive she is. She stuck to her beliefs. But I digress, this will be a conversation for another day.

The other thing that got me thinking was how we view life differently and how we are all right in our view. Let me expound on this.

Take, for example, the girl and her optimism about life. She was assured of their being good people in life and not even an older, more distinguished figure could change that.

On the other hand, the lady who perhaps through various life experiences has grown to become pessimistic about life. She has a conviction is that no one is trustworthy enough to be let in on your secrets. A typical pessimist.

Divergent views on life but all right in their own way.

On my part, I believe that we need both pessimism and optimism in our lives if we are to succeed.

We must know that this world is full of evil and bad things are happening every day. This helps us steer clear of those perpetrating this evil.

Besides, it is also important not to get lost in the fear of something bad transpiring all the time that we are paralyzed into inertia.

Exude optimism where it is needed and be pessimistic where you don’t trust the situation or those around you.

Lesson Ends.

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