Glass Half Empty Or Half Full?

in #community4 years ago

Stop Me If You've Heard This One...

I have half a glass of water sitting on my patio table.

For most of my life, I've understood that if I look at that glass and see it as half full, that means I'm an optimist. If I look at it and think, "It's half empty," then I'm a pessimist. Since society likes it's labels or boxes, to one side or the other I go.

Nope. Given time to consider things, I've decided I no longer want to be pigeonholed one way or the other. Besides, when it comes to evaluating the situations in my life, are my only choices half full or half empty? No. Not really. Usually there's all kinds of data to analyze and draw from. Why shouldn't that half a glass of water be any different?


Here's some information I think I should be considering:

How Big Is My Glass?

If it's a small jam jar I've washed and repurposed, maybe that's not a whole lot of water. But if I compare three other sizes of glasses up to that of a pitcher, half is a considerable amount. I might not even consider having a half pitcher of water a desirable thing. Or, because I'm really thirsty, maybe I do.

So, my assessment of half full or half empty is woefully incomplete if I don't also take in account how big my glass is.


What's In My Glass?

Is it water, or is it orange juice, or maybe cranberry ginger ale? Depending on what it is, half a glass might be about all I want or can handle. Like orange juice. I like it, and I try to drink as much as I can, but seldom am I able to get through more than a small glass of it. Whereas with water, I could probably down two or three of those at any one time, and as far as the cranberry ginger ale goes, I'd probably end up drinking more of it than I should.

So, could I consider a half empty glass of orange juice a bad thing? Probably not. I'd probably be doing well to finish it off. A glass half filled with water? Depends on how thirsty I am, but I'd probably want more, and might even bump up to a bigger glass. The ginger ale is more of a no brainer, except for maybe the calories. I'm going to want more than half of a small jam jar.


How Did We Arrive Here?

In the analogy, while it's probably left up to interpretation, a half empty/half full scenario presupposes that there's only a half a glass of beverage and that it's all downhill from there. So, I can either be happy and except it, look at the bright side, or I can cry over my half empty glass, because once the contents are gone, that's it.

But that's not how life is, is it? Over the duration of that glass, unless we're talking extreme circumstances that can't last for very long (one would die if all they had was a half glass of anything to nurse for an extended period of time), it's going to be filled and refilled many times. That's the beauty of a glass. It's not one and done. So, as I'm observing this half glass of liquid, where is it along this empty/full spectrum?

Maybe I've had an assortment of drinks from that glass, and now I'm down to half and I'm okay with it. Maybe even relieved, because I've overindulged. Or maybe I'd like to keep going but to do so would not be good for me. Or, maybe, it is truly the last half glass of (fill in the blank) I'm going to have for a while, and that makes me kind of sad.

Whatever the case, that glass will be refilled with something that I will be drinking. It didn't start out at half a glass, and it won't stay that way.

So, What's The Point?

Don't base your worldview on a half glass of water?

You can't be a pessimist solely based on seeing a half empty glass of water. Nor can you be an optimist. There's too many other things to consider.

In the end, most of us end up somewhere in between for most of the time, and ping pong between the two ends the rest of the time. It's called being human.

In my way of thinking, I'd rather avoid being wholly and optimist, and woefully a pessimist. Instead, I'd rather shoot for reality, and live there as much as I can.

So, I say, own the middle. Go halfway as it were. Be grateful for the half a glass. Prepare for the times the glass will actually be empty, and hope for the day the glass will be filled again. Then expect that it will probably end up at half and empty and need to be refilled again.

Now. Who's thirsty?


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Once again, thank you. I didn't know whether or not to expect seeing you folks again since I became a dolphin, but apparently, I'm still in the mix, and its greatly appreciated. Please keep up the good work.

I see an inefficient water containment system.
Your glass is twice as large as it needs to be ;)

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Hey, @bluerobo.

Time to get out the glass cutters! :) Maybe put a bottom on the top half. Then, maybe I wouldn't have to wash the one so much.

Or you can just be glad that you have a glass, and there is something in it. lol

So, true, @quotes-haven.

And you could also be mad that, even though you've personally done nothing to earn or deserve it, that there's only half a glass, the glass is small, and what's in the glass is not remotely what you want, and then go destroy the glass along with its contents.

As much as I believe there are many of us with the first attitude, I also know there are too many (one is more than enough) with the second.

Some of them seem to be running around here right now. :)

It goes on and on .... Or rather, it can go on and on. :-)

I know what is wrong with the OJ glass. It is just incomplete, it is neither half full nor half empty, it is simply waiting on the filler. It needs something to add some fizz, some spice, something to liven it up and take the tartness away or to add to the tartness. It needs to have some sprite poured into it. Kind of like life, a half full or a half empty life needs some fizz added every now and then.

So many variables, @bashadow. So many things to consider. So many flavors to recognize and appreciate. So many ways to jazz up your drink. :)

I almost poured in the cranberry ginger ale to see what that would taste like but backed off. I'm not wild enough for that, I'm afraid. :)

I like Cranberry and OJ mixed, it is not a bad blend at all, the ginger ale would take it a notch higher, all we have here is plain ginger ale. I like OJ, but cn never do very much either, so I blend it a lot.

Just like how people see the world. You are either good or bad. Either going to heaven or going to tell. Now we've realised there could be a lot of different shades of grey. Very insightful post, and I learnt a lot.

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Well, thanks for that, @fredkese. :)

I just thought it's easy to get caught up in what's directly before us in the moment, when in many cases we should really be taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and attempt to see things the way they truly are.

Then, you can panic. Just kidding. :)

Such an awesome theory you got there. I have to also start checking my glasses to see how my relates with me.
A lot of great advices in there too

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Well, thank you, @ferrate.

I've been at that point in my life where I've been questioning all kinds of things, and trying to see through all the misinformation to find the truth behind it. So, this exercise was mainly me walking through a few possible ways to really assess the significance of the half glass of water and applying it to life. In the end, it is what it is, and then we need to determine what we're going to do about it.

Yea... That's true and it was worth it

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I am a pessimistic. My glass is half empty. Woe is me, its gonna rain 🌧

It’s a part of a conversation that has been so simplified that it no longer makes sense on its own. And can only be understood if you have hair between the nuckles on your hand. You will not understand it if you looked.

You actually came to mind as I was writing this, @wolfhart. :) I was thinking, don't get too carried away here, because, yes the ends still do exist, where life either doesn't look good, or life is incredible, but even then, there's always another direction to go.

So, anyway, I'm not sure why I start dwelling on this half full half empty concept, but the more I did, the more it irked. It's like, does anyone even do that any more? Was it really ever a thing, or did they make it up to mess with our heads for a few generations.

There is good. There is bad. But there's also context, what we can do about it, and what we can't.

Its not asked to much lately because you would have to send a picture along with your text.

Life has its ups and downs. Enjoy the ups and put your big boy pants on for the down times. I think most of us are optimists. The pessimist are now placed on drugs.(depression)
Sigmund Freud Screwed it all up for everyone. He was taught in all the schools and worship. Everyone wanted to sound like an intellectual . Bunch of dumbasses if you ask me.

“Yes ends still exist, where life doesn’t look good.” Life and the things around us look different with a new perspective. It is actually pretty good. I am good,greatful and life is good :)

I think you are right @glenalbrethsen a half filled glass is both half full, and half empty.

And in most cases, an empty glass will be filled with something, some time in the future after it is emptied.

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I suppose when we're young, and think everything good in our lives has to happen now, that we can look at the surface of things and make a judgment call. But really, that's not how life is. It's in a constant state of commotion, so limiting it to a snapshot in time is a big disservice. The whole concept of the half empty or half full glass is flawed from the start. So much more to living life and navigating through it. :)

I tend to think that over time, everything in life is bittersweet (i.e. a cup that's Half-empty & Half-full).

Sometimes the sweet part of something is over emphasized, and sometimes the bitter part is over emphasized, but given enough time, everything that is "Sweet", will eventually be followed by a bitter aftertaste - and visa-versa.

Now that I know this... I think I will do much better in life.

A lot of my earlier hardship in life was caused by chasing the sweet and expecting that I could get rid of the bitter aspects of life - doesn't work.

A balanced life that is bittersweet, is the best case scenerio in my opinion, and it's actually REAL!

I go more with Psalm 23:

"My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."

Along the same lines, someone once told me I fart rainbows :)

"Be sure to fitinfun no matter what"
is my tagline, and it has not failed me yet.

I think all our cups runneth over, more than we know or care to admit at times, @fitnfun. Thank you for sharing the Psalm. :)

And I think the story behind that is, regardless of what is going on in our lives, even when things are not looking so great, there is goodness, there is mercy, and there is hope. So, what are we going to do with the hand that we're dealt? Aside from any blessings the Lord sees fit to bestow upon us (and it's so often more than we realize), we too need to be doing things to get us to the good times and through the bad times.

Aside from any blessings the Lord sees fit to bestow upon us (and it's so often more than we realize)

I think it is always more than we realize.

I have had poor health and a lot of near death experiences. I think every day I get to open my eyes and strive again is a blessing I do not take for granted.

Also - some times those "bad times" are "good times" in disguise :)

I'm glad I saw this post and it gives me a lot to think about.

You know a lot about the glasses.
Resteemed for my followers to learn something new.

Very much appreciated, @oldtimer. :)

Mostly, I'm getting old, and looking at the world through a different lens. One that doesn't just look at the surface anymore, but wonders what's lurking underneath. What else is there to know, or to understand? I'm at that point where I know there's much that I don't know, and worse, there's even more I don't know that I don't know. So, with the time I have left, I want to fill in the gaps as much as I can. :)

Same here, my friend.
Maybe just our lenses getting thicker, hehe.

Living on the ends of the spectrums is always a difficult and unsustainable path because of its implications. Balance is always the best to seek as it is important factor in gauging your reality.

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Very much in agreement with you @newageinv.

Balance is key. When I realized that, it made my life so much easier to get through. I was happiest when things were in balance, and not happy when they weren't. So, do the things to stay in balance and be happy. :)

I've never been able to maintain either side of the spectrum for too long, so I don't know this for sure, but it just seems like you'd get tired after a while and have to sleep off the all consuming positivity or negativity. :)

Of course I'm thirsty.... Lol
I like the way you viewed the half empty /half full water thingy. There is more to life than that and we shouldn't let society standards limit our thinking.

Well, thank you, @peachyladiva. It's cool to see the post resonating with some people. I'm not even sure how much we use the term anymore, but as I said, it's obvious that the practice of judging negativity or positivity by what's on the surface is still in full force.

Maybe one of these days, we'll get enough people ignoring society standards and rising above such thought. For the moment, though, I think there's way too many caught up in it to really step back and have a look at what they're missing.

I really appreciate your analysis on this.

I was actually kind of laughing my way through it in full comprehensive agreement.
I always say:
"Only the narrow minded fail to grasp the idea that the glass can never truly be empty, because air, is comprised of measurable substance. So it's safe to say, given the supplied information, the glass is indeed always full".
Perhaps it's a harsh way to put it, but in comparison to life, there are a host of variables in any given situation, and it's hardly ever so simply put into perspective with such a silly concept.

Thanks for you kind words and your thoughts, @futuremind.

That's quite a bit to always say, too. :) However, very much true. Air is always around filling up the 'empty' space. And we should all be thankful that it is there.

As you say, there are many variables, and there well could be plenty we don't know about, that causes behaviors, decisions, for things to be the way they are. The more we know, the more we can assess, and the more we can move onto the next bit of fun in our lives.

I'm glad you also got a laugh out of it. It seems rather obvious and maybe a tad absurd to address such a thing, but I also feel like the obvious is being overlooked way too much anymore.

if at the beginning the glass was full then it is half empy otherwise if at beginning was empty it is half full... just a joke but maybe a different way to see at things

Joke or not, @road2horizon, that's a better way of looking at things (because it at least takes into account different starting points), then just straight up basing an evaluation on the state of the glass in the moment. :)

Bravo! I have been waiting for the right person to tear that one up. I like your perspective! I consider myself an optimist, but, even happy people have those kind of days that pushes them over into pessimistic territory, without really being a pessimist.

This puts it just right! Thank you!


Well, thank you, @dswigle. Right person or otherwise, it's been on my mind, and I'm glad to be of service, if it helps. :)

Truth to tell, I like to call myself a realist. If done properly, as best as one can, it tends to lean towards positivity, because the possible outcomes are generally mitigated to some degree. If they're not, there really wasn't much I could do about it, anyway.

It is tough to be always up, and always down, and in my case, I get tired of thinking about being either for very long. :) Float me somewhere in the middle on a gentle rise! :)

Oh, and, thanks for the tip.

I am amazed by the amount of psychological conclusions you were able to discuss while observing nothing more than one glass...
And I couldn't agree more with what you said. Society tends to label people in any way they can without considering if they are right or wrong or if it even makes sense to draw conclusions from such silly and irrelevant topics.
And the last paragraph was so well written it had me thinking about it for a solid five minutes. You pointed out the importance of being grateful so perfectly, kudos kind sir.

Well, thank you, @ivanm7.

I'm sure there's more to add, but those points were the ones that seemed to make the most sense and were most present in my mind when I wrote this.

My hope is they seemed obvious. Sometimes, it's just a matter having them pointed out, or sitting down and thinking about it, as I did. There really is much more than one way of looking at things, and so, anyway, I figured I'd put it in a post instead of having it bounce around in my head.

It's amazing just what we base our opinions on, and how much those opinions can change, or actually strengthen, if we let in other opinions and voices.

Hello @glenalbrethsen, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

I am. I think we all are, until we give up life.
You've introduced a very compelling aspect of that dichotomy.
There is an additional element to determined whether or not the assessment of the half-fullness or half-emptyness of the glass is a psychological attitude that may or may not be good to have.
When was the assessment made?
If the glass had just been served and is, say, a half-glass of scotch and someone says, "what a pity, only half", this person obviously needs to be institutionalized! :)
It's a scotch, damn it and it is about to be enjoyed!
Some people do have that attitude about just anything and become very annoying.
But even if it is half a cigarette that have been handed out. Some may see it as an insulting leftover, while for others just a suck-in may mean the world.
In any case, it is always good to add layers to the palette of possibilities. empty or full is as extremes as good or evil, black or white.

Well said, @hlezama.

Being able to enjoy what is in front of us, even if we wish for more, is how we're going to get through life without making ourselves and others around us miserable. Wanting more is not so bad, as long as we're willing and able to work for it, which many more of us are than those who can't do it. Sacrifices may be needed, and it may mean years of hard work, and it might not show until the next generation, but the opportunity, however small, is there, and so must be the will.

And reassessing our situation on a regular basis is a good thing. Not obsessively, but periodically, so that enough time can pass to see where we're going and how fast. Also, humans have a fascinating way of acclimating to new norms on a regular basis, so what may have seemed so bad is viewed as somewhere in between (and likewise for what appears good), even though materialistically, little has changed.

Always more than one way to look at things—the layers of which you speak—and the more we're aware of them and know what they mean and interact with one another, the better decisions we can make, and the better off we'll be. :)

Howdy sir Glen! I agree whole heartedly, be thankful and prepare. That's wisdom. You have great photos there, by the way. lol.

Or just be a nihilist, then it doesn't matter how you describe it!

Well, I guess there is that, @coloneljethro. :)

Just condemn the whole of existence and move on, maybe? The whole idea of a glass, empty, full, or otherwise is useless, undefinable, unknowable and therefore without meaning or purpose.

From a therapeutic standpoint, I think I could get into that now and then. :)

Condemn is perhaps too harsh a word. More like look at the whole of existence and shrug, then move on. It can definitely be therapeutic at times, because why stress, it doesn't matter anyway ¯_(ツ)_/¯

The glass is Always Full. Just like our lives. We choose what to to fill it with. Happy, enjoyable things, negative, bad things, or emptyness (air).

I certainly can't argue with any of that, @ksteem. We do choose what we will fill up our lives with, and we should also feel responsible for it, too. The half full half empty glass idea seems to at least seek to take away those choices through deception, along with our responsibility for them. The glass is this way (it's always going to be that), you saw it as this way or that, and that's the way you will always see it (regardless of the circumstances leading up to it or causing it). In addition, we're being told that half empty is always a negative, even if you've had ten filled glasses before it and don't even want to finish the last half. :)

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