Some backgound is in order....A very good friend lost a small dog recently. It happened on the coldest day of winter so far, followed by the coldest night of winter so far. After a full day search...nothing. Night came and went and no dog. It got to 18 degrees here in the Atlanta area and no small dog would have survived outside all night. Signs were put up and websites notified....nothing.
The next morning, my friend was down and not in an optimistic mood. In these situations, it's hard to know what to say that won't sound canned and trite....but I managed to get in the classic "it doesn't look good, but it is not hopeless." sigh...Emerson I am not. But I was sincere and really kind of felt that the dog had not suffered a tragic end.
This friend often says (I'm parapharsing) "I never have any luck and bad stuff seems to happen to me." This friend is a very thoughtful person but much too self-critical and, yes, pessimistic.
Well, that day, while I was still struggling to find words of comfort that meant something, a phone call came....someone had plucked the dog from the street and had taken her to their house. Everything was going to be okay. Friend and dog were reunited....all was well.
Well what did this friend say the next day? "I can't believe I got so lucky."
I suppose it's all a matter of perspective and circumstance. But I believe there lies in every person a spark of optimism that is only tempered by our natural fear of being disappointed. Being a pessimist at times is not a bad thing...we certainly cannot roll through life always thinking that everything will work out perfectly...as Laurance J. Peter once wrote..."The pessimist looks both ways before crossing the street."