The Best Quotations


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and Pessimism


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Ambrose BierceFuture, n.That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.

—  Ambrose Bierce, 1842–1914, American writer

Eugene O’NeillI am so far from being a pessimist...on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life.

—  Eugene O’Neill, 1888-1953, American playwright, Nobel 1936

René DescartesAn optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?

—  René Descartes, 1596-1650, French philosopher

ThucydidesStill hope leads men to venture; and no one ever yet put himself in peril without the inward conviction that he would succeed in his design

—  Thucydides, 460-394 BC, Ancient Greek historian

Harry TrumanA pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Eleanor RooseveltA stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.

—  Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962, American politician & wife of the 32nd USA president

Laurence J PeterAn optimist expects his dreams to come true; a pessimist expects his nightmares to.

—  Laurence J Peter, 1919-1990, Canadian writer & educator

George Bernard ShawBoth optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Winston ChurchillA pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

Winston ChurchillFor myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

Paul ValeryOptimists do not write well.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Karl KrausThe devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people meaner.

—  Karl Kraus, 1874-1936, Austrian writer

William JamesPessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.

—  William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher

Zig ZiglarExpect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.

—  Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012, American self-help writer

Walt DisneyI always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

—  Walt Disney, 1901-1966, American businessman & cartoonist

Personal Stories

Friedrich NietzscheYou say you're a pessimist, but I happen to know that you're in the habit of practicing your flute for two hours every evening.

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher

     (criticizing Schopenhauer)

Quotes in Verse

William WordsworthCome grow old with me. The best is yet to be.

—  William Wordsworth, 1770-1850, English poet


Funny Quotes

George CarlinSome people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be.

—  George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian



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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou