One's personality is shaped by many events, and one of them that I remember dearly happened when I was about 10 years old. I was sitting in my high school history class, which was the last class of the day, and our teacher Basil Flashman overheard someone whispering when they should have been working.
He immediately stopped the class and asked the whisperer to reveal their identity. No-one responded. He asked again. Once again, silence. Resolute, Mr. Flashman then announced that the class would stay behind until the whisperer confessed, and that we would miss the school bus if this did not happen soon.
Since I was not the whisperer, I felt that this was rather unfair, and made the tactical error of whispering my disagreement to my neighbor. "Glass!" said Mr. Flashman. "Please tell the class what you just said to your neighbor!". I explained to Mr. Flashman that I felt that holding the whole class behind was unfair since only one of us was guilty of the crime.
"Glass, today you have learnt a very important lesson in your life." he said. "Do you know what that lesson is boy?" he asked. I said that I didn't. "The important lesson you have learnt today is that life is not fair" he said, with a faint smile. Ultimately, he let the class go just a few minutes after the regular time, but we still all missed the bus.
Looking back on it, he was absolutely right; sometimes life is not fair. He was a brilliant teacher, one of the best. He was not a pessimist, he was a realist.