“Optimism isn’t about denying reality; it’s about creating a better reality than you’re facing.”~ Jurriaan Kamp, editor, Ode magazine
One of my favorite parables …or allegories….or, for heaven’s sake let’s just call it a story, is the one of parents of 6-year-old twins. One of the twins was a pessimistic child, while the other was constantly optimistic.
If you’ve heard it, humor me.
The parents were confused, and exhausted, trying to figure out why there was such a difference in the children’s thinking and behaviors, as they were both raised with the same love and kindness and healthy boundaries, bedtime stories and play.
The parents finally sought the advice of a child psychologist. The psychologist met with the twins and the parents. Asked lots of questions. Listened to the twins’ answers. Then, asked the parents to have the children wait in the other room, where there were toys galore, so the adults could talk.
The psychologist admitted being a bit kerfuffled by the level of optimism, and pessimism, the twins exhibited. Since their birthday was approaching, the psychologist tasked the parents to have the twins make a list of what they wanted as gifts.
It was then strategized that the parents were to get every gift on the pessimist’s list, and, while there would be a pre-planned surprise, to get nothing on the list from the optimist. The hoped-for outcome was that the little pessimist would have to find many somethings to be happy about. and the little optimist would have to acknowledge that not everything turned out well. That became the plan.
Lists were made. Gifts were bought. The ‘Day’ arrived.
The little pessimist-child sat in the middle of the living room floor surrounded by boxes and bags of gaily wrapped gifts. Optimistic twin looked on in delight, eager to see what all was given. Pessimistic child began to poke and prod at the wrappings, then finally opened the gifts, all the while complaining: “too many wrappings to go through; the new toys could get broken; didn’t know which one to play with first.” The parents sighed.
Optimist-child was told it was now time for the gift. Only one gift. And nothing on the list.
The parents walked the child through the kitchen and out into the garage where, pre-planned, a trailer of horse manure was piled in the middle of the floor. The child said “Wow” and jumped down the step into the pile, slinging handfuls of the ….stuff….left and right, laughing like a loon.
The parents hollered “Stop. Stop. What are you doing?”
Optimist-child joyfully yelled back:
“With this much manure, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!!
Which child are you?
Do you yah-but, or that-won’t-work, or but-what-if, and even rain on your own parade? Or worse still, rain on other people’s parade / hopes / ideas / dreams? “Just being realistic” or “The Feds are raising interest rates” and “The Weather Channel said…” Hahahahahahaha! (If you’re not sure what you do, ask your friends and loved ones. They’ll [hopefully] let you know.)
Pssssst….. My hope is you look for the pony. And find it.
Hi-O Silver. Away!!!