On Reversing Pessimism

PessimismWhen we are treated unjustly by others, we slowly can become more apathetic about everything. Consider this quotation from G.K. Chesterton on the matter:

“It matters very little whether a man is discontented in the name of pessimism or progress, if his discontent does in fact paralyse his power of appreciating what he has got.”

Forgiveness can reverse the apathy and the pessimism and increase our appreciation of situations and other people.

Robert

6 thoughts on “On Reversing Pessimism

  1. Samantha August 29, 2013 / 6:57 am

    Sometimes when we reverse pessimism we enter a neutral state. Forgiveness not only reverses pessimism but also increases love and joy. So, it actually goes beyond a reversal of pessimism.

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  2. Josh August 29, 2013 / 6:59 am

    Great extension of the post, Samantha. Yes, you are right. Forgiveness does more than just bring us out of a state of negativity. It helps us to thrive and to aid others who are hurting. Nice ideas.

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  3. Chris August 29, 2013 / 9:26 am

    But really, how can we “appreciate” someone who continually throws us under the bus. I can see us tolerating the person, but appreciating? That is like saying, “It’s ok what you did because I forgive you.”

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  4. Deborah August 30, 2013 / 5:20 am

    Chris, I do not “appreciate” a person because of what she did. I appreciate that we share a common humanity even though she did wrong. Remember Augustine here: We are to love the sinner, not the sin. And if you do not think there is such a thing as sin, let us reword it: Love the one who acts unjustly, not the injustice itself.

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  5. Brigid August 31, 2013 / 4:12 am

    As long as we realize that we have to grow into this “appreciation,” then that might be of help to you, Chris, and to anyone struggling to see the humanity in the other. It does take work, but it is worth all the struggle to do so.

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  6. Beth September 2, 2013 / 3:52 am

    I just read the blog before this one about the Pieta. So, I would add to this one that not only is pessimism reversed when we forgive but it is destroyed and something much better takes its place. That something else is the beauty of love.

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