A WALK IN THE PARK
Here’s a story of an Optimist and a Pessimist who decide to join one another for a Saturday walk together in a public park:
Early Saturday morning, both awoke and readied themselves for their get-together.The Optimist awoke with anticipation of a beautiful day; the Pessimist, with his typical negativity, anticipated another “lousy” day.
Upon meeting in the park, the Optimist greeted his pessimistic friend saying, “It’s a beautiful day! I’ll bet we see all kinds of wonderful things!”
The Pessimist grumbles something to himself and thinks, “I doubt we’ll see anything close to wonderful at all.”
Down their path, they happen to spot a young man offering to help a little old lady having trouble carry her shopping bags…
The Optimist says, “Now isn’t that nice! Look at that helpful young man. You can’t say young people are all inconsiderate these days.”
“Are you kidding?” retorts the Pessimist, “Give him a few steps down the block, and he’ll be running off with those bags!”
Next, a couple of dogs romp playfully across their path being chased by some children…
“Isn’t that a wonderful sight?” the Optimist suggests.
“Wonderful?” the Pessimist replies, “It’s disgusting! Why they allow animals in the park is inexcusable! I can’t count the many times I’ve stepped in dog droppings here. And where are those kids parents, anyway? Why aren’t they minding their kids like they should?”
Further on, a couple of jazz musicians are playing for a spontaneously gathering crowd…
“Now this is so nice! What talent they have,” the Optimist thinks, “I think they’re worth putting a dollar in their donation hat. They deserve a little something for this wonderful music.”
“Are you crazy?” the Pessimist says as he grabs the Optimist’s arm, “This is all just a rip-off! They’ll just use the money to buy drugs! I’ve heard about these kinds. They make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year doing this — mostly from fools like you!”
A bit later, they spy a couple embracing passionately in a secluded spot…
“Wow,” the Optimist implores, “you can’t say that isn’t truly beautiful! It remind me of when I was young and in love. At least romance is still alive and well these days.”
“Beautiful?” the Pessimist exclaims, “It’s despicable! There ought to be a law against public displays of affection. It just makes me ill!”
Later that evening, both the Optimist and the Pessimist are at home, and each receive a long-distance call from a close friend. In both cases, the conversation turns to how each spent their day.
When asked, the Optimist tells his friend, “It was a wonderful day. You should have been there! I took a walk in the park and saw so many nice people. There was fun and good-will everywhere…”
For the Pessimist, the report is quite different. “Your lucky you live where you do,” he tells his friend. “I took a walk in the park today, and you wouldn’t believe how bad things were. It’s a jungle out there!”
Who was right and who was wrong?
Maybe the Optimist is right. Maybe the world if full of many “wonderful” things. On the other hand, maybe the Pessimist is right. Maybe the world is full of “rotten” things.Objectively, there is ample, real-life evidence to support either position. But whatever the evidence, being “right” or “wrong” is not the issue here. What matters is:
Who ended-up more happily at the end of the day?