Optimist vs Pessimist. Who is right?

An extreme Nigerian optimist and extreme Nigerian pessimist happened to be very good friends. How they could stand each other without strangling each other was really a mystery to everyone. The optimist believed that nothing was really wrong with Nigeria, and every bad thing currently happening in Nigeria is actually a good thing in disguise. His personal national anthem was TY Bello’s song, The Future, which he listened to every morning and night.

The pessimist on the other hand, saw nothing good in Nigeria. In fact he spent all his waking moments talking about the impending doom of the country, such that everyone wondered why he had not found a way to bail out, even if it was just to the neighbouring country of Benin Republic.

The irony of it was that both of them were on the same social standing, jobless youths, struggling to make ends meet. This is an example of how their conversation usually goes, when they happen to be together.

Pessy: I am telling you Opty, there is nothing good about this country. Every single sector is in a rot. I am jobless right now, and doubt I will be getting any job anytime soon. The unemployment rate in Nigeria is something else. Imagine I went to look for job. After going through 10 stages, can you imagine? 10 stages! I was told that I couldn’t get the job because I was over-qualified. Didn’t they know I was over-qualified right from the very first day? Why waste so much of my time?

Opty: Take it easy, Pessy. Remember that when one door closes, another one will open.

Pessy: No, I disagree. Whenever one door closes, another slams in your face.

Opty: Just look at you. You need to always look at the bright side of life. You still have a chance to do something for Nigeria. Even if you didn’t get a job, you can think about a good idea, and become an entrepreneur. Don’t you know that today is first day of the rest of your life?

Pessy: The rest of my life, you say? With Boko Haram in sight, today should also be seen as the last day of my life so far. Don’t you also see those terrorists in Jos, roasting people, with all the smoke rising in the air?

Opty: I think Jos is the place to be. Haven’t you thought about it that wherever there is smoke, there must be barbeque and asun ?

And the optimist-pessimist banter continued…

Opty: Think about it well Pessy. They are doing it so they will build our fighting spirit. They are actually doing it intentionally to help us. They planned all these problems happening to us. They want us to be so frustrated that we won’t be able to take it anymore, and then we fight for change. So you see, the government is actually working for the interest of the Nigerian populace, contrary to popular opinion.

Pessy: But by the time we get so frustrated, as you claim, we would have started self-immolation.

Opty: I can see that you refuse to see the light.

Pessy: I see the light. It is a very bright light, the light of the Nigerian Armageddon.

Opty: Okay, let me tell you a true life story, something that happened in Delta State, just to let you know that you can achieve something in this blessed nation of ours, should you ever put your mind to. An Urhobo orphan was living with his uncle’s family. His uncle’s wife maltreated him, and made him work like a slave. He ran away from the house at the age of sixteen to Sapele, where he became a street trader, sleeping under make-shift sheds. Piece by piece, step by step, he persevered and made something out of his life, and is now one of the biggest and richest business men in Sapele. All these happened in this same Nigeria you complain about. Now what is the morale of that story?

Pessy: Well… the morale is that Urhobo relatives suck.

Opty: Gosh Pessy, you so incorrigible. I am tired of your banter. I need to go now. Please, can I borrow some money from you?

Pessy: I think I have a little extra change here. Take, though I doubt that you will pay back.

Opty: Well, that is why I am borrowing it from you. I knew you wouldn’t expect it back. You should always borrow money from pessimists. They don’t expect to get anything back.


  1. Perception is reality, so they're both right. But Pessimist is probably more likely to have hbp.

    1. Yeah, cos everyone sees things from their own perspectives.

  2. I am a pessy, even the opty{s} are complaining too about the state of the nation, but funny enough, I have more optimism for Nigeria.

    1. Loooolll. In the midst of the gloomy times, we need optimists. If not, we would all die of hopelessness before the gloomy situation even has time to take its toll.

  3. I am an optimist, 100%. I may consider the ramifications of the pessimists view but I remain an undaunted optimist- no matter the challenges I face. I don't really like to associate with pessimists and the ones I happen to be friendly with, I find I'm constantly refuting their talk, constantly. It is, Them: the way it is going, Nigeria is doomed, thank God I'm out of that Godforsaken country!; Me: well, I believe that as long as I'm a Nigerian, Nigeria still has hope and Nigeria will be better in Jesus name. Amen. My parents are hardcore pessimists, my mum is a lot better now and tends to correct herself alot when she's speaking with me, I just can't stand all that negative perspective : I feel like it swallows up the joy that can be.

    1. Yes o. Pessimism can literally drain one of energy and hope. Too much of it around you, and you might almost commit suicide.


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