“People tell me, “You’re such an optimist”. Am I an optimist? An optimist says the glass is half full. A pessimist says the glass is half empty. A survivalist is practical. He says, “Call it what you want, but just fill the glass.” I believe in filling the glass.” – Author: Louis Zamperini
I had occasion to deal with negativity this weekend. Usually elements of humor surface in these displays and the vitriol can be chalked up to a bad day or a passing fluke. Chronic, on-going negativity is a different story. It becomes as grating as fingernails on a blackboard and, when you are a captive audience, you have to grin and bear it – at least for a while. I’ve never accepted the half full-half empty concept when it comes to world or life views. I know all major industrial countries have expressions for it in their languages, but it’s an awfully simplistic way to determine how one sees the world.
Not all of us share Annie’s belief that “the sun will come out tomorrow.” We have, however, learned to make our dissatisfaction known without constantly harping on the negative. We have also learned to save the negative for things that really matter.For my part, the proverbial glass is empty. Not because I’m a pessimist. I simply have a problem with the concept. I am within a stone’s throw of my 82nd birthday, and I am more convinced than ever that every drop of water we’re given should be used to benefit ourselves and the people around us. So, while my glass is always empty, my days are full and I smile a lot. I am never thirsty.
Chronically unhappy people are toxic and the “Debbie Downers” of the world would like nothing better than to take you to the depths with them. Better take another look at the water level in your glass. Perception is all. Did you know that in the 1960’s the Peace Corp used the half full-half empty concept in its recruitment campaigns? Many think that was the first time the idea was articulated. That’s not quite true. Back in 1933 The Los Angeles Times ran this snippet: Two men were looking at a bottle of milk. Said one with a groan,”The bottle is half empty.” Said the other with a grin, “The bottle is half full.” The first belonged to the courters of disasters, forever bemoaning their losses; the second to the invincibles who win by counting their blessings.I am an invincible optimist and I’ll wager you are too. Bottoms up!