Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Half Full - Half Empty Conundrum

A beautiful day in the neighborhood so I took full advantage via an extra long walk with the dog.  While enjoying the sun on my face, an occasional breeze and the pleasant temperature, my mind wandered, as it sometimes does.

Thoughts of those I know and have read about who seem to have very little going their way yet remain optimistic about the future and grateful for what they have, mixed with thoughts of those I know and have read about who seem to have everything in their favor yet remain disgruntled about their lives and fear the future.

What makes some people adopt the half full philosophy while others cling to the half empty perception?

I believe that I haven't mentioned that I was recently promoted to a larger store.  Also, that we recently began a complete bathroom renovation, and, as a result, we haven't had a working shower for ten weeks.

The half full viewpoint on the new job notes the slight increase in pay and the exposure to the challenges of assisting in running a much larger establishment.  The half empty perception notes that the drive is now 50 minutes rather than three, and that shipments in this store begin at 5:00 AM (necessitating a 3:30 AM wake up).   Additionally, since I am maintaining my second job minus one shift, the half full person is grateful to have a second job to support the family while the half empty person notes that twice a week I work from 10PM to 4AM which puts quite a kink in the sleep cycle.

As for the shower, half full knows that the bathroom will be great, once it is done, and that it has been gratifying to know that so many friends and family have been willing to allow me to shower at their home, while half empty is not happy with the occasional hair washing in the kitchen sink, and purchasing/wearing extra deodorant and cologne to mask the days when a shower is not available. 

As I continued to walk, more of my life became fodder for these musings.  Half full is extremely proud of my two children, both in college.  Half full regrets the college tuition cost.

Half full is happy to have such a beautiful, smart, loving wife who has remained at his side for 25+ years.  Half full is cognizant of seeing the same face, day after day after day.  (Sorry honey, just making a point).

At this point, my half full/half empty dialogue moved to the national scene.  Half full realizes that the government shutdown will eventually end, and the United States of America will survive another default crisis.  Half empty bemoans the selfishness of our elected officials who have placed party over country, and knows that this is just another in a series of "crisis" that our representatives will continue to create, to the detriment of America.

As a Democrat and Liberal, half full can only shake his head at the continued distention in the GOP, with its carousel of leadership via the flavor of the month.  From 2008 candidate John McCain to 2012 candidate Mitt Romney, from Sarah Palin to Ted Cruz, from Newt Gingrich to Donald Trump, the GOP has fluttered, and now seems to have failed its moderate majority in favor of the resource rich, be-elected-but-refuse-to-govern tea party minority.  Half empty is saddened, knowing that a two party system is required to maintain the give and take that a democracy needs to thrive, and hopes that saner minds in the GOP will cleanse the party of those who, like my kids at age two, only know how to say no.

And finally, we have our president, Barrack Obama.  Elected twice, both times receiving a majority of the popular vote as well as the electoral.  Half full is exceedingly proud of the American electorate for choosing our first African American President.  We are all a part of history, regardless of how we voted, and future political as well as social historians will dissect how and why we made that choice. 

But half empty sees an electorate with a sagging spine.  Perhaps we were ready to elect a black president but we may not have been ready to be governed by one.  From those who openly challenge President Obama on his heritage, his religion, his love of country, to those who stand by and say nothing to rebuke those who cast such dispersions, lies, and hate, to those of us who voted for him but seem afraid to defend our vote and our president, seem unwilling to shout down the ignorant who fail to realize that once you legitimize such hatred of our president you can't go back when the next one happens to be one you voted for, can't retain the higher morale ground when he is besmirched by friend and foes outside our borders.

Half full - half empty.  Can one choose which side one's viewpoint will fall?  Or are half of us born half full while the others are born half empty? 

I like to think that I lean towards half full, which upholds that we can train our mind, direct our thinking to half full if we reflect on our lives, and our perspectives, and understand the difference between the two viewpoints.



No comments:

Post a Comment