Half Full or Half Empty?

Some people make a living from analyzing if a glass is half full or half empty. Not me. To mix metaphors, half a loaf is still half a loaf. It doesn’t matter whether you think positive or negative, you can only feed so many souls with half a loaf. You can quench so much thirst with half a glass.

I look at this quandary as a three-legged point of view. There is the optimist, pessimist and realist. We generally define an optimist as one who looks at the sunny side of the street. He sees only the good in a situation. The origin of the word comes from the latin optimus, which means ‘best’. One who has positive vibrations about a predicament does not necessarily think it is for the best, but that it is better than the alternative.

The pessimist, conversely, looks at the shady side of the street. He sees only trouble ahead. The word comes from the latin pessimus, which means worse. I don’t think that a pessimist truly believes the worst is going to happen but that it just isn’t going to be pleasant. In other words, with two minutes left to play and his favorite team is losing by ten points, the pessimist has an inkling that it is all over. But, it ain’t the end of the world, right? Just change the doggone channel and watch a movie. And if he is attending the game in person- well, then- he should have parked in such a way that he can quickly exit the parking lot. If it was me, I would have been gone five minute left in the game.

That’s right- I’m a realist. I know that there are real forces in the world out to get me. Nothing I can do about it. By June 1, I know that the Chicago Cubs don’t have the talent and decision makers to compete successfully.

I know that when a famous television or movie star dies, you can pretty much guarantee two others will die within forty-eight hours. I’m not being negative- just stating a fact.

A realist hold certain beliefs:

I believe that for every drop of rain that falls it means that someone I’m related to’s basement is flooding and is going to call and ask me to come over and drain it out with a water vacuum.

I believe that someone in the great somewhere not only hears every word but has recorded them waiting for the day to use as evidence to send me on a two to five year stay at a federal establishment.

I believe that for everyone who goes astray there are three more who didn’t get caught.

I believe that in the darkest night somewhere someone is getting mugged.

Every time I hear a newborn baby cry, I wonder if the mother convinced the father to first get married .

Every time I touch a leaf I get concerned that any open skin wounds will get infected.

And every time I see the sky I look for clouds and any oncoming weather conditions.

Yes, I am a realist. I’ll take the glass half-full or half-empty. It’s all the same.

Philosophically Speaking

In the early 1970 ‘s I attended Northeastern Illinois University in pursuit of a well-rounded education. Part of this endeavor meant that I had to take a course in philosophy. Philosophy is supposed to be defined as the love of wisdom. Frankly, though, the philosophers I’ve met were kind of not so wise.

The professor who taught our class did her post-graduate work at the University of Chicago. That alone should tell you that she did not believe so readily in mom, apple pie, the military and capitalism, although she did wear fancy clothes. I suspect that she made a good living and justified her salary because she was doing something very important to help the American Economy. Yeah, exactly.
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