Is The Glass Half Full?

I know I’m a pessimist sometimes, okay most of the time, but we pessimists are often called a “glass is half empty kind of person,” and I’ve never thought about the glass as half empty. If I saw a literal glass, and it were half full and half empty, I would say, “That glass is half full.” I’d be glad to have that half glass. (Assuming that the liquid is water, lemonade, or something else delicious. Much fun has been had debating what is actually in the glass.) For some reason, this philosophical question has never made sense to me, and today I realized why.

It’s because life, if it were a glass, would not be half full. When I thought of it that way, my pessimism, as measured by the “glass is half full” question, finally made sense. I’ll explain.

Today, my car died. I was in the left hand lane at a red light. I turned on my hazards and ran to the sidewalk. Any of my local friends will understand why this was a big bummer. It has been pouring rain for three days straight. Because I had thought, “I’ll just be in the car and then in the grocery store,” I hadn’t brought an umbrella. Ironically, if I’d had a glass with me, and I’d held it out, it would have been half full in about ten seconds.

Here’s how I know that life is not a half full glass. The way I see it, if life were a half full glass, 50 percent of the people driving by would have stopped to ask if they could make a phone call for me, or the really daring ones might have even offered me a ride. After all, as you know from my last post, I look like a harmless little grandma. Guess what percentage of people stopped.

Zero. Zero percent.

I stood in the pouring rain with my little grandma socks soaked through. All those people passing by didn’t know that I’d already made a phone call. No, judging by them, the world is an empty cup. I’ll give the cup a little figurative water for the friends I have who would and did come pick me up when I called. I’ll give it 10 percent.

So the question should be, do you see the cup as 10 percent full, or 90 percent empty. Because then I can call myself an optimist. Yay for the friends! Yay for the little teeny tiny bit of water in this dry, dry world.

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