The previous post made, “The Quintessential Question: Half Full or Half Empty”, was intent for the collation and discussion of views on whether gratitude and positivity is the right approach.
I am grateful for the interesting responses, and it does not do justice to address the issues via thread, hence this new article. (Rosaliene! please see the transfer!)
Paraphrase 1: “A Cup Half Full IS a Cup Half Empty” aka “Both!”
This is derived from a comment by JW. JW elaborates to say that he loves to see both views (“realities”) and both views (“realities”) are true.
We will ignore the debate on truth and epistemology, Socrates, Aristotle, Decartes, Hume, Kant etc. For practical purposes, the point is acceptable. Rather, the extension beckons: a cup two third full, is also a cup one third empty, or a cup three quarter full is actually one quarter empty, and so on….
How should we proceed regarding Gratitude and Positivity? Should we celebrate the one quarter full, over the three quarters empty? Or should we mourn the three quarters, over the one quarter? Or have mixed feelings? Be confused? Detached? Inert?
There is Voltaire’s critique of Leibnizian optimism via the novella “Candide” (1759), amongst other questions and possibilities. Not least, excess optimism or pessimism with scant truth can cloud judgement, and precipitate a downward spiral in condition.
Paraphrase 2: “I See Our Daily Blessings. Yet I Fear the World’s Problems are Immense”
This is derived from a comment by Rosaliene. It is similar to JW’s. Yet in a certain way, intended or not, it highlights an additional problem: the existence of many different cups – societal and world “cups” as well individual cups (Yes, inclusive of the Football World Cup, but no, we are NOT talking about that here).
Different cups apparently exists for different people, for the same people at different times, and even for the same people at the same time.
Defining the Proverbial CUP
For the sake of brevity, and to avoid evaluating the infinite, the suggestion is to define a CUP of relative “permanence” and significance, even universality. If we focus on our basic needs (not excessive wants): food, water, shelter etc, we can grow and at the same time avoid envy. Most of us will have a nearly if not full proverbial CUP. There is reasonable cause to be predominantly grateful and happy, and we are less likely to fall into greed or fear, or be trapped by infinite wants (collectively unfulfillable).
Reasonable Positivity. With gratitude for what we have and our given abilities, we can improve ourselves / work to give back to the world and society: which is bonus fulfillment.
The World has Enough Tech to Meet Everyone’s Needs and Make Things Better!
At today’s level of technology, everybody’s CUPs can be filled. Collectively less fear, less greed, fewer conflicts, fewer wars. Excess wealth and resources available for important issues, to improve the collective good, e.g. climate protection, helping out the poor, helping the refugees, improving universal healthcare, better universal education, etc. We have gratitude and a baseline contentment, yet nurture the interest to improve and to give back to the world. There will be possibly a better world.
By addressing the question “Which cup?”, we side-stepped the earlier issues related to type of cups, levels and approach. On such premise also, the dichotomy of reality through the lenses of Gratitude and Positivity, and other related topics for discussion will be saved for a future time.
This is the thought.
Thank you for reading and/or sharing your views!
Image credits: D. Sharon Pruitt, Dave Dugdale, aKS-phOtOs, jill111