About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
"If the homily goes on too long, it will affect two characteristic elements of the liturgical celebration: its balance and its rhythm. The words of the preacher must be measured, so that the Lord, more than his minister, will be the center of attention."
— Pope Francis (11/24/2013)

   Send an E-mail to Dr. Ronda Chervin, Ph.D.
Pessimism - Not a Virtue
published 14 July 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

If you have been following these blogs you know I am on a new adventure with grace called A New Way (see blog of June 2nd). I am doing very well with a partner for accountability. She is doing clutter and I am doing talking too much. Another friend wants to work with me on pessimism. Here are segments of my first e-mail with her just in case you have problems with pessimism or others have problems with your pessimism!

“Dear X, Here is my plan for my pessimism. Each day when I wake up I will think of one thing that is likely to go wrong this day. Then I will consider that there is at least a 50/50 chance it will go better than I think. I will report to you how it went when I didn’t go in glumly pessimistic to that situation as well as any other observations the Holy Spirit sends me. You can try whatever way you think would help you.

Also let’s identify the basic root of my pessimism that needs healing by Jesus. In my case I remember being a cheerful optimist as a child even after my father left us because I was closer to my mother and sister in any case. I started getting pessimistic in High School. I was skipped 2 years so I was younger and gauche among the other girls who were older and more attractive. I began to feel inferior. They were 170 IQ kids at that school. I was 137. I gradually raised my grades up from 85 to 94 % but until that 94% I was treated, I thought, by the other kids as a marginal dunce.

The relationships I had with boys and men in college before my conversion were mostly sinful. My first real rejection by a young man I adored was because even though he loved me, he wanted to marry a rich doctor’s daughter who could advance his career one day as a doctor. He was pre-med. This shattered my romantic ideas about relationships with men.

I guess that’s plenty to explain why I became pessimistic, eh?

Now, what would be my prayer for healing: Dear Jesus, You, not the world, should be our reason for hope. You brought me hope in you and in eternal life. Help me also to have hope that even if people and things are often disappointing that everything will be good in terms of your Providence because you bring good out of every evil.

So, going into this day. I am at an Institute teaching in LA that has mostly priest teachers and priest students. I am the new girl on the block. So my pessimistic thought, in spite of being such an extrovert super-friendly person myself, is that they will all reject me and I will have a miserable 7 weeks living here, except when I escape on the weekend to my loving daughter’s place an hour away. Instead I am going to think: more than 50% of the time I do make friends in new places – not everyone becomes a friend, but some. Jesus, let me wait hopefully for one of these new people to like me. Okay, for starters the head of the program loves my work, which is why he hired me, and is super-friendly!”

So, I sent this off early this morning and already at breakfast there were two very friendly priests who I talked to and who seemed to like having me among them. A proof that my original pessimism was wrong. But, perhaps, if I had walked into the dining room emanating anxiety, they wouldn’t have been so friendly. I think when we are willing to try to change, the Holy Spirit loads us up with examples of how bad it can be the way we are, and how good when we open to change.

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.