Today, my guest Vineeth from The Lousy Design shares his thoughts on being a pessimist. Enjoy!
So, I’m a pessimist. Yes, that’s right. I’m bad company. I’m the guy who will tell you why you shouldn’t do stuff, why you don’t matter.
As living things, as humans, we live in a world of boundaries. One of the boundaries, the most significant one, is time. For humans, survival comes first. We all want to live. The idea of death is something we cannot comprehend and accept. We believe in living our lives to the full, that we have a purpose to fulfil, that we are all significant to this universe. Even though survival is the first instinct of any living being, humans are the only ones with consciousness. We are the only natural beings who are self-aware. And for us, survival alone isn’t enough. For us, the coming day is a chance to do something new. We don’t just live, but we hope to live for a long time. That’s where our consciousness comes in. To make us want to live. We are led to hope. We are made optimists.
This world wants genuine optimists. People who think positively, people who will give you hope. An optimist, we see, no matter how much pain he is in, no matter how much he’s struggling, he will always look forward to the future. The animal instinct of survival and reproduction will always lead him to believe that things can get better, even when he knows it won’t happen.
Our insecurities grow larger. We live scared. We find comfort in the belief that you won’t live your life for nothing. That’s where optimism comes in. Optimism was not the result of a well-thought-out approach. It is an instinct-driven belief, a belief that survives solely in the consciousness of the human race.
In this universe, where you exist, where you have a consciousness, you seemingly matter. To whom? To someone who’s going to die. And when they are dead, you don’t matter anymore. That’s the bitter pill. None of us matter. Time will go on, and so will the universe, and you will be forgotten. And as long as you exist, your existence will be filled with suffering and difficulties, just like any other’s. The pessimist will have no problem accepting this, but the optimist will. This is true, and no matter how strong you may be, you will suffer for all the time you would have spent being alive in this universe. On the other hand, there are infinite universes where you do not exist, and guess what, no one cares. Your non-existence frees you from all the suffering and pain you would have felt and tackled otherwise.
Life was not supposed to be intelligent. It was supposed to be nothing but a senseless chaos of mindless creatures incapable of the ability to think we now possess. We weren’t supposed to exist. But we do. And we always try to find the purpose behind our existence. But we’ve never found one. People who said they did are either deluded or lying. We are separate from the rest of the world, because we have a consciousness that dictates us through our life. That consciousness makes us the only creatures capable of intelligent thought. We are the only part of the life process on this planet that tries to evade death, tries to celebrate life.
So, how do I live with myself? How does the society include me?
The answer is quite simple. People don’t know I’m a pessimist. That’s because this world doesn’t want pessimists around them. And so, to live in a society, I must learn to pretend that everything is all right, sometimes even think that everything is all right. And I do pretend.
No matter how negative my outlook on life is, I’ve been wired to try to live. I’m not capable of putting an end to all the suffering and misery I’m going through and inflicting on others. Every day I tell myself that this day will mark another day in this calendar of suffering and that I’m inching closer to the dark end, after which my body will decompose and rot; my conscious will grow into eternal nothingness, free of the constraints of the physical dimensions we perceive, and free of time. My death, like all others’, will be nothing more than the undoing of the mistake of the creation of humans in this universe, which now exists and will grow and die as time progresses, thereby putting an end to this freak show of consciousness.
Why am I a pessimist? Because I believe that this is the end; that when I reach the end of the tunnel, it is not light that’s waiting, but eternal nothingness; that this is the only life I have, and that it will not determine my sufferings when I’m back again, which is a really stupid thing to believe because I don’t think I’m up for another round of painful suffering.