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Give With the Right Attitude

When a pessimist went in to donate blood, she was turned away. 
The nurse explained, "I'm sorry, but we don't need any 'B Negative' blood."

A Pessimistic Commentary

A Pessimist’s Commentary on Psalm 23

By Ima Whiner

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

      “Shall not want”? Give me a break. I want lots of things. I’d like to have a nicer house, a better job, and a pay raise. I want people to do what I say when I say. And I wouldn’t mind winning the lottery either.


He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

      I have a problem with the words “makes me.” That sounds a bit legalistic to me. First you say I can’t want things; now you’re making me do things. 


He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

      I don’t want to be guided down the paths of righteousness. I prefer the more scenic routes. How about leading me to Hawaii for a change? What about Vegas? I’m getting a little tired of the paths of righteousness. The next thing you know, you’ll be leading me through a dark valley.


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

      What am I doing walking through the valley of the shadow of death? I thought I was supposed to be lying down in green pastures. Did you take a wrong turn, or what? And you call yourself a Shepherd?


Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

      To tell you the truth, a rod and staff are not my idea of comfort. A rod and reel I’ll take. A back massage would be even better. Skip the rod and staff.


You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

      Great. Out of all the restaurants in the world, you choose the one where my enemies like to eat. I’m sure I’ll relish every bite of that meal!


You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

      I don’t want any oil on my head. I prefer shampoo. And for goodness sake, can’t you stop pouring before my cup overflows? What kind of waiter are you anyway? How would you like to have hot coffee spilled all over your hand?


Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

      I don’t want to be confined to a house forever. That sounds like a prison. It might be nice to step outside once every thousand years or so. I never will understand why so many people love the 23rd Psalm.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 34-35)

The Way Pessimists See Things

A pessimist looks at a half-full glass and sees it as totally empty.

Pessimism Creates the World You See

A man decided to start a hot dog business. He bought a cart, filled it with hot dogs, and pushed it down a busy city street during the lunch hour. He sold out, so he ordered more from his supplier. As the weeks passed, he kept expanding his business and became a successful vendor.

One day his son came home from college and gave him some advice.

“Dad, don’t you know what’s going on in the business world? Things are bad. We’re in a depression.”

            His father replied, “We are? I guess I’d better cut back on my supply of hot dogs.”

So he did. He reduced his inventory, ordering only minimum quantities. Because he kept running out, his frustrated customers stopped buying from him. Several months later he shut down his business.

That night he called his son at college and said, “Son, you were right. We are in a depression!”

            The way you choose to see the world creates the world you see. Pessimists expect the worst to happen, which often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 37)

Cross Reference:

The Pessimist Who Found Money

Our Emotions Respond to the Way We Think

Your Happiness is Determined by You

A Miserable Millionaire

Two Days Before the Great Discovery

I Hate Bees!

Our Thoughts Affect Our Immune System