My internet connection was dodgy all weekend. At first I was a little nonplussed, but then I did some of the things I used to do PB (pre-blogging). Read, watched films, cleaned the house, made blueberry muffins, had a chat with some friends.
Back in the day when we were less busy my friends and I used to have proper discussions about things. We used to wax philosophical all the time. We went back to that time on the weekend, talking about the glass half full versus the glass half empty scenario.
We are all in our early forties (or there are the ones we call the young ‘uns who are 38 and 39) and many of us have dealt with depression and accompanying therapies. All of us have encountered the perspective-altering glass half empty or half full argument.
You know how it goes – it’s all in the way you look at things.
The half empty glass is a coming from a negative perspective (supposedly). A half empty glass connotes an air of world-weariness, a sort of what can go wrong will go wrong world view.
Alternatively, the half full glass suggests a more optimistic viewpoint. A merry, whistling, always look on the bright side attitude.
Who would have thought that whether one chose half full or half empty to convey the volume of liquid in a glass, would be such a determinant of positive mental health?
Yet it is. And many of us agreed that this argument is a useful tool in generating a healthy change in outlook. But we also argued that not everyone who describes a glass as being half empty is a depressive menace to society.
I know a few people who follow the half full line of thinking –
It could always be much worse.
At least we’re not fleeing from genocide.
At least we have our health.
They take world catastrophe or the threat of the body shutting down to dilute the passionate energy of whatever drama they are embroiled in. In a way, I am all for that. It is good to remember that we are not the only ones who suffer; but sometimes focusing on how much worse things could be negates and relinquishes our ability to hold, and shake, and scream in the middle of what is bad for us right now.
Sometimes I look at a glass of water and I can see quite clearly that it is half full. At other times it is obvious to me that it is half empty. Is this illusion, delusion, or the mark of a difficult, changeable nature?
When the glass is half full does that mean that we crave more, that our thirst for the water or the juice, or maybe even life, has not been quenched?
When the glass is half empty does that mean our thirst is sated, that we are close to having had enough?
Or is how we perceive it just the way the light frolics with the atoms in the glass?