The fatuous optimists exhibit their fears

“Food is life and life is too serious a matter to risk needlessly. Strange to say, now that there really is a shortage the imperturbable pessimists are apparently quite unconcerned… It is not unusual that pessimism and equanimity are counterparts. The fatuous optimists exhibit their fears [by] assuming that the pessimists are now thoroughly scared and therefore making mocking remarks such as … “We shall have to eat the one who dies first” and so on, which has actually occurred before now when people have been in only very slightly worse straits than we are now. There’s many a true word said in jest.”

—Thomas Orde-Lees

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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