DAY NINE – A WAY OF LOOKING
We have all heard the phrase about a glass being half full or half empty as a commentary on whether we look at things in a positive or negative light. The most common interpretation is that if we see the glass half full we are optimistic and if we see it half empty we are pessimistic. Hardly anyone seems to ask if the glass might be refillable or how large the glass might be. That would change the conditions which could change the way we see it. That is one approach. Even if we see the glass half empty, that does not have to be negative. Perhaps it is, from one point of view, simply realistic, neither positive nor negative. In fact, half empty means there is just as much as when it is half full so that another response is neither half full nor half empty, simply half of a glass. The full or empty descriptions fall away.
Optimism and pessimism may seem like opposites and that we have to decide which way we see things when looking at something that wants a response. Numerous perceptions are on a continuum or could be circular with an indefinite starting point. We can be more of one thing than another, more optimistic than pessimistic or vice-versa. We can be more hopeful (positive) than fearful (negative) or again toward the opposite of more fearful than hopeful. What we need to know and understand are those influences that affect our outlook.
Consider some of the experiences you have had in the past several days and where you got your information, whether you simply took it in or looked at it, thought about it and drew your own conclusion. You may have valued the opinions of someone else. You may have agreed or disagreed or you may have set it aside for later consideration and not reacted immediately. There is a way of looking at things wherein we do not have to react or respond immediately and there are other times when we respond without thinking, a conditioned response.
I think it is a good practice to check to see if your thoughts are truly your own or if you are echoing someone else’s thoughts and opinions. Slowing down and practices such as mediation help us get grounded in ourselves.
Thanks for this reminder. I’m sure you meant meditation as that puts us in touch with the ground of our being. Even if we are using the words from someone else, we can make them our own when we integrate them into our daily practices