Wednesday, May 22, 2013

One Virtue of Pessimism

I take some comfort that Elder Dallin H. Oaks described Elder Neal A. Maxwell as "something of a pessimistic worrier" (Bruce Hafen, A Disciple's Life, 377). There are certain virtues of pessimism. A pessimist can expect the worst and gratefully count blessings when things do not turn out as bad as expected. Sometimes things actually are as bad as they seem. In those cases the pessimist may actually be a realist. There are also times when things turn out even worse than the pessimist anticipated. In such cases the pessimist turns out to have been overly optimistic. But in many cases the pessimist can be pleasantly surprised.