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Glass Half..?

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My dad tried to explain the concept of optimism many years ago. He sat down next to me, poured water into a glass, drank half of it, and asked me,"So, is this half-full or half-empty?". Being the perky kid i was, i quickly responded "Half-full!". My dad laughed, and asked me to always see it that way. When i asked him about what the little demonstration meant, he told me that saying half-full meant i was optimistic, seeing hope in every outcome, and saying half-empty made me pessimistic, expecting the worst out of every outcome. And at that moment, i felt so proud that I had said the former.

We've all heard the sayings, urging us to be optimistic in life. "Every dark cloud has a silver lining", "The darkest night is just before the dawn", "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" and all that. The old folks tell us this all the time, guiding us with all thier experience and wisdom. And it's drilled into our heads, optimism is good, pessimism isn't. When we dream big, anyone who tells us that there is even a slightest chance of it not coming true is
considered to be a pessimist. What we don't realise is that we always fear, we fear our dreams slipping out of reach, but put those thoughts away because we have hope. But when anyone questions our hopes, we follow suit. And then the dream seems to fade slightly, and we do not like facing that. So we brand the
other person as a pessimist, or a killjoy, and think that maybe he/she wants to pull us down, not wanting us to succeed. We continue to think our way, even though the other person may be absolutely right, even though he/she might fear the fact that if at any point we face failure, we may never hope again. The apparent pessimist might just be realistic. Take a gambler for example, if he bets everything he has, and loses, then he'd never put all that he owns on a game of chance, he'll be cautious. That is not setting his hopes low, just that he isn't so naive anymore. That is not pessimisn, its facing reality. We cannot be optimists all the time. Sometimes we need to take a reality check and take off those rose-coloured spectacles.

Some of my facebook friends change thier status updates with a lot of variation. One day they're in cloud nine, the next day they're in the very depths of despair. Many people find that weird, but maybe that's just it. We are confident about somethings, and not confident about others. We tend to set our hopes high for some outcomes, and don't expect anything for other situations. We stand in the blurry distinction between a glimmer of hope, and the feeling of hopelessness. We make the choice of what we want to see. We choose to either see the flower or the thorns, the light or the darkness. But nobody can either be an optimist or a pessimist. The glass isn't always half-full or half-empty. Sometimes the situation inverts the perspective.



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This article has 8 comments. Post your own!

HorseLover said...
May 19, 2011 at 6:27 am:
I really liked this article and thought it was very true. Good work!!
 
ImJustMe94 replied...
May 21, 2011 at 3:12 am :
Thank you!! :D
 
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DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 11:08 am:

I can't agree more.

Often I get told that I'm too negative or pessimistic. But I turn out to be right, and get blamed again.

Eh, go figure. Good job, though.

You might want to concentrate on your punctuation, though.=)

 
ImJustMe94 replied...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm :

Thankyou ! =)

And yeah, I didn't exactly proof-read it before sending it. Point noted. :)

 
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ninadk said...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm:

Amazing!! Is this your first article or something? It is really good? Did you have it proof read by anyone, though?

 

Anyway, brilliant stuff. Keep on writing.

 
ImJustMe94 replied...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm :

Yep its my first article ! :)

I didn't have it proof-read though, hence the spelling errors.

Thankyou ! =)

 
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ImJustMeToo94 said...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 9:49 am:

Great writing ImJusMe94. Hope to read more articles by you in the future. Your article was just really good & was based on reality. Keep it up.

Your True Fan. =]

 
ImJustMe94 replied...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 10:56 am :
Thank you ! =)
 
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