“No, that won’t work.”
“Why not?” I was growing impatient. My laboratory manager and I were working on a possible solution to resolve a workflow issue in my former laboratory. Everyone except one clinical laboratory scientist was in agreement with our initial proposal.
“People won’t do this.”
“But we are giving them a financial incentive if they do this extra task. Why do you think it will not work?” My manager was flustered.
“They will think that we are not being inclusive.”
“If you give money to reward the effort, it will make others bitter and jealous. It will only lead to more problems.”
We both listened to him with incredulity. My manager queried, “So you would be upset if I gave you money if you successfully completed this extra task?”
“Even if made everyone’s workload easier and smoother?”
“Would you turn it down?”
I sighed and turned to my manager and motioned to him to end the meeting. It was not the first time we were stymied by this scientist’s pessimism. After everyone left the room, my laboratory manager shook his head and declared, “He’s Eeyore.”
Nearly everyone is familiar with the forlorn donkey introduced to the world through the writings of A.A. Milne and “Winnie the Pooh.” Gloomy, pessimistic, a downer. Whenever Eeyore is around, the mood and enthusiasm descends into a dark abyss. Everyone has met an Eeyore. They cannot see the upside or positive, even if it is literally handed to them.
So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height.”
Numbers 13:32 (ESV)
The spies that Moses sent to spy out the promised land were Eeyores. They were fearful of what could happen if they obeyed God and entered the land that was promised to them. They gave a bad, pessimistic report of the land, emphasizing the negatives rather than focusing upon God’s promises and bountiful blessings. Yet, two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, gave a true report and encouraged the Israelites to obey God and enter the land that was promised to them. God praised the faith of both Joshua and Caleb and blessed them and their families. Out of all the Israelites who were living at that time, only Joshua and Caleb lived to enter the promised land.
…not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
Numbers 14:30 (ESV)
There are times when pessimism is justified and may even be a voice of reason in a sea of conformity. An Eeyore is an extreme example of pessimism overtaking one’s sensibilities. The positive does not exist and hope is simply an unreachable dream.
Whatever experiences lead one to become an Eeyore, there is definitely hope. The world sometimes seems bleak and foreboding and if we were to solely focus upon our circumstances, I and many others may end up like Eeyore. Thanks be to God that He has the power to do whatever He promises. This is the first step in breaking the chain of pessimism, clinging to the magnificent promises that God offers to everyone through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.