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Pessimist? Me? I don’t think so.

25 Apr

I have often been called a pessimist and for a long time I never questioned it. Why would I? I always worry about the worst case scenarios, I am always warning my friends about the terrible things people do and what they could do to them, I am one of those hippies claiming that the end is neigh. I am not denying this much but I don’t believe I am a pessimist. Saying that would be a hasty assessment of myself.

I know that bad things happen sometimes. I know that some people are racist, sexist, homophobic, murderers, just plain ol’ mean and sometimes all of this at once and worse. I know that for centuries humans have mistreated our planet beyond repair and have harmed other fellow humans for bigoted reasons. I know of stories of genocide, of animal cruelty, of slavery, of rape, of war and of mass infanticide. I know this and I think you do too. We all do. So, does knowing this and being mistrustful of how great a race humans are make me a pessimist? I am not sure.

See? The thing is there is always more than one side of the story and life has taught me that all sides are equally important. Yes, I know that the human race has been, and is still sometimes, ridiculously evil but that is not all I know. In fact, I know that so many times humans have proved that we are kind, generous and that we care. People who work for Non-Profit Organizations, people who donate to all kinds of charities, people who volunteer to help victims of war or of natural disasters, organ donors, surrogate mothers, feminists, doctors, les restos du coeurles médecins sans frontières, les enfoirés, Greenpeace, mothers, soup kitchens volunteers, people working in conservation, people who give time and more just to help other people, all heroes in their own way. I have seen demonstrations of people fighting for what is right, for the ideals they believe in; gay pride parades, slut walks, civil rights protests, worldwide peaceful protests to denounce police brutality and to reiterate that black lives matter, people fighting for a rise in the minimum wage. These are the things that remind me that there is good in the world and this good usually comes from ordinary people.

Thus, I’ve been thinking, I am not really a pessimist. I know there is good in everybody and I love seeing it. I love seeing people being kind, smart, encouraging, caring, generous, protective, tolerant and supportive. I love seeing parents being unconditionally supportive of their LGBTQ kids. I love how girls who barely know each other will share their hair bands or their spare tampons. I love seeing celebrities using their fame to support great causes, like Mark Ruffalo whose Facebook is equally full of posts about the Avengers than it is of posts about Water Defense, marriage equality, climate change and the Monsanto scandals. I got as excited when I heard of the 5-year-old girl who set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist and donated all the money to the ‘Planting Peace’ association as I was about Rebel Wilson’s positive body image outfit at the MTV Movie Awards.

rebelwilsonmtv

She owned that night. I’m loving the pants!

When good things happen I’m just really happy. I remember once, one of my friends ranked first in some competition and she was called in a school assembly and we all clapped for her. I remember that as I clapped, I actually cried a little. And I even shed a few tears while watching the music video for Maroon 5’s Sugar. I get that emotional about good things happening, I’m that kind of friend and I guess, that kind of person. That’s not really what a pessimist is, right?

It’s really easy to judge. It’s a weird reflex to judge a person, especially one you have never met just because of the kind of person you think they are. Something I’ve noticed about me is that I like digging deeper when it comes to people who get a lot of hate – that’s because years ago I promised myself to not randomly hate people and because I have become more and more convinced that there is good in everyone. It’s easy to call Nicki Minaj a “stupid hoe”, it’s also a really dumb thing to do when you realize she is a pretty neat human being, she is always urging her fans to stay in school because “education is important” and once she even moved her concert dates because they coincided with exam dates. People do good things all the time, and they deserve some respect. I honestly believe that until someone behaves like a total asshole they deserve respect.

Other little thing about me that makes me doubtful I’m a pessimist: my undying love for the Gotham City Sirens and the Birds of Prey. They are stories about criminals – and if you know Gotham you know they are usually the worst kind – and yet they are heroes too. Unconventional heroes alright but they still do good..mostly. If Starling and Harley Quinn can do good, if Gotham criminals can do good then anyone can and that’s because really anyone can. 

harleyquinn dog saving

So there we go, according to Wikipedia, pessimism is a state of mind in which one anticipates undesirable outcomes or believes that the evil or hardships in life outweigh the good or luxuries. Therefore even though I often think that bad things are bound to happen I truly believe that there is good in everyone and that caring is an innate thing. Being mean, sexist, disrespectful, racist or homophobic is usually a choice and I don’t believe they are inherent characteristics of the human nature.

To sum up, there is good in everyone, even if people can be really shitty sometimes. And me knowing that people can be really shitty sometimes does not mean I’m a pessimist and that I only see the bad side of people. I mean, come on, even Darth Vader was not all bad.