- Kind of optimism.
There are in the world two types of men who have two distinct attitudes towards life. Some men always look to the bright side of life they are full of hope and are not easily cowed by the disappointment and failures in life. They are the optimists. There are others who always look to the seamy side of life; they are full of disgust with life, they would put wrong 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 all possible worlds.
In every age and in every land, there have been optimists as well as pessimists; in every literature, this two view 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. Two great poets of this sub-continent, namely, Allama Iqbal and Tagore give us a message of hope and optimism and announce in poetical accents their new creed of optimism.
“Salvation lies in the enjoyment of life, not in its renunciation,”
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: I always triumph 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 at the first German Philosopher in the West to build his philosophy on pessimism. In 1877, James fully wrote a book entitled ‘Pessimism’in which he discussed optimism and pessimism, in their philosophical bearings. He concludes the inquiry with the remark that optimism and pessimism are deeprooted tendencies of the human mind and that both are needed for social uplift, the former pointing to an ideal and the latter critically examining the means to that end.
In our view, optimism is of two kinds. First, there is the easy, self-complacent variety of optimism which always foolishly believes that something good will finally come out of evil. Those who hold this kind of optimistic view on life often say that whatever God does he does for the best. Secondly, there is the reasoned type of optimism, founded on discretion and wisdom. Careful consideration of facts and balance! conclusions reached in the end. The second type of optimism characterizes a wise man’s attitude 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 th declaration of the Second World War in 1939, people relepsed into pessimism and lost faith in the League of Nations Again, with the setting up of the United Nations Organization, 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 journey’s end. Optimism and pessimism are, indeed relative terms; One cannot exist without something of the other. The sun rings of misfortune drive the weaker minds into pessimism, and the p ssimist votes life a failure. But the stronger folk in the world are in he majority. They look facts in the face, weigh them in the balance asnd at long last deveiop the reasoned optimism which is to them a source of never-failing strength and inspiration. Suicide is the last refuge of a pessimist; the ideal of making life and, if possible, best is the optimist’s constant urge as well as aspiration. As Clough sings.
In front, the Sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.