Sie sind auf Seite 1von 3

2, Optimism

There are in the vydrld two types of men who have two distinct attitudes towards life. 5ome men always look to the bright side of life; they are full of hope a.nd are not easily Cpwed by the disappointments and failures in life. Tfrsy are the optimists. T.nere are others who always look to the seamy sitte of life; they are full of disgust with life, they would put wrui.n constructions on every little incident of life and read into it the curse of God. They are the pessimists. An optimist is sometimes defined as one who believes that this world is the best of all possible worlds, while a pessimist is described as one who believes that this world is the worst of ^l pessible worlds.

In every age and in every land, there have been optimists as well as pessimists; in every literature, these two views on life have developed and expressed themselves in different accents. But if we read aright the history of the world, we find that in some nations optimism is the dominant note, while others develop a pessimistic bias. Most philosophers of sub-continent regard the world as essentially evil, life as eternal suffering and recommend different methods of escaping from evil and pain. But then there appeared two great poets, Iqbal in the Punjab and Tagore in Bengal, who always announced in poetical accents their new creed of optimism. Salvation lies in the enjoyment of life, not in its renunciation, says Tagore in one of his poems. Tagore, it is said, has been deeply influenced by the idealism of the Upanishads and the optimism of Robert Browning. Iqbal sings in one of his famous poems: Life shines forth in the will to conquer ***** Let your Heaven Within be created from this Earth For Life is Action. Iqbal, it has been pointed out, has been profoundly influenced by the philosophy of the great German poet philosopher, Goethe. The dominant note of European poetry and philosophy is that of optimism; it always triumphs over pessimism and cynicism. The famous German philosopher, Leibnitz was the first to express in philosophical terms the optimistic view of life, and Schopenhauer was the first German .philosopher in the West to build his philooed on pessimism. In 1877, James Sully wrote a bonlr, in their * Pessimism! in which tie discussed optimism and pecne remark that philosophical bearings. He concludes the ingnuencies of the human optimism and pessimism are dfcso-r^^pfift, the former pointing mind and that both are neejgj Or ^riing the means to that end. to an ideal and the latetimism tW knds; Rrst there is the

in oiupiacent vari^ of Ptimism wnich always foolishly . easy, -^nat somethino ^od wi final|V view on life often say that dtever God does e does for the best Secondly, there is the reasoned type r optimism, founded on discretion and wisdom, careful consideration of facts and balanced conclusions reached in the end. ,7iie second type of optimism characterises a wise mans attitucfe towards life. At the conclusion of the First World War in 1918, when the League of Nations was set up, people became optimistic about the future of the world; they thought that eternal peace would dawn. With the declaration of the Second World War in 1939, people relapsed into pessimism and lost faith in the League of Nations. Again, with the setting up of the United Nations Organisation, the nations of the world, great and small, are in the full tide of faith and hope and optimism. As in international affairs so in private life, optimism alternates with pessimism, hopes with fears, joys with sorrows. Life is, in fact, a long struggle; dark and difficult is the way. The crown of success is at the journeys end. Optimism and pessimism are, indeed, relative terms; the one cannot exist without something of the other. The buffetings of misfortune drive the weaker minds into pessimism; and the pessimist votes life a failure. But the stronger folks in the world are in the majority, they look facts in the face, weigh them in the balance and at long last develop the reasoned optimism which is to them a

source of never-falling strength and inspiration. Suicide is the last refuge of a pessimist; the ideal of making life better and, if possible, best is the optimisms constant urge as well as aspiration. As Clough sings: In front, the Sun climbs slow, how slowly, But westward, look, the land is bright.