Sunday, September 18, 2011

Half Full Vs. Half Empty

Have you ever been around anyone who loves to say, “no” or “we can’t do that”, “it just won’t work”, or “I don’t believe it”? One of those folks who sees the glass half empty? Or someone who can find ten thousand reasons for not doing something or being able to do something and not one single reason for doing it? For example: “I’d like to cut this tree down sometime next week”, says the man. “Nope, can’t do it, says Mr. Neanderthal, it’s too tall, too close to your house, too windy, too many roots running here and there, you’ll lose shade, the birds won’t be able to sit…and on and on he goes when you know darn good and well that tree can be felled. These people do exist you know? Some are very near and keeping the half full folks from solving some really big problems. Have you ever wondered what would happen if? Here are some half full/half empty potentials when one wonders, what would happen if? I left the glasses half full.

What would happen if?

1. Folks stopped buying tickets to professional sporting events. Half full: Ticket sales would drop and ticket/vending prices would decrease. Half empty: Vendors would complain, revenue would be lost, shucks, might not see a game on TV. Half full: Until folks decided the prices were “fair” and returned to the games.

2. A higher academic standard was set for high school and college athletes. Half full: Graduation/literacy rates would increase and there would be fewer athletes having problems with local law enforcement as a result of being dismissed from school with no marketable skills. Half empty: Many would be prevented from playing a sport, it’s a form of discrimination. Half full: Perhaps some would spend more time studying.

3. Everyone gave two cans of food and ten dollars to a local charity. Half full: Poverty and hunger would be lessened in communities and a spirit of community service would prevail. Half empty: There would be no place to store all the food, waste and fraud would prevail, there will always be poor people. Half full: More children would learn the lessons of giving.

4. Small town residents were allowed to use golf carts for transportation. Half full: The demand for oil would decrease, more communication would take place as people drove to and from work, and the environment would be cleaner. Half empty: Cars would run over people in golf carts, it would cost too much to provide cart/bike paths. Half full: Ever been to Peachtree City?

5. Everyone became a vegetarian. Half full: No more chicken trucks loaded with bloated, over fed chickens ten to a crate, less heart disease/obesity, fewer chemicals in our food. Half empty: McDonalds and Chick-fil-a would suffer, real men eat meat, deer’s good for you and where do I get my protein? Half full: Eat more beans.

6. Everyone who had a job skill and was out of work spent the down time making their neighborhood more attractive by using donated paint and materials. Half full: The depression associated with being out of work could be offset by the feeling of accomplishment one finds in doing a good deed. Half empty: I’ll be dadburned if I’m going to lift a shovel or a paint brush without getting paid…it’s un-American. Half full: Sometimes a volunteer job turns into the real thing. Think intrinsically.

Now I know you half empty folks are dreaming up some more half empty stuff to write in about. And some days the half empty syndrome hits me too but I really do make an effort to see the glass half full. In the words of John Wayne, “You do what you think is best!” I also try to hang out with mostly half full folks because it’s less stressful and they seem to get more done. There’s a lot of stress goes into thinking up why things won’t work as opposed to getting down to work. What if we raised our children to see the glass half full? Would they approach learning and life in a different way?