Defining the Proverbial CUP

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….

Half Full or Half Empty?

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.

glassware-781766_1920 - 1

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


7 thoughts on “Defining the Proverbial CUP”

  1. If we all had the same size CUP filled with the basic necessities for our individual survival and fulfillment, that would indeed be good. But that day has not yet come. A small few have oversized CUPS that floweth over.

    Somewhere along our path to progress, we began to think of ourselves as separate entities from the rest of our species and of the natural world. Yet, who can survive alone without the bounty of Nature and the contributions of other humans?

    Our CUP, whatever its size or contents, represents the labor of millions. I think of all the people who have had a hand in bringing the cup that sits now on my desk. For them all, I am grateful and give thanks.

    Sorry to pontificate, but it’s an issue close to my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rosaliene, this is intended to be a shared site, and you are welcome to have your views here! Thank you always for sharing them candidly!

      My job is to record, collate and run/moderate rational discourse, so that all views are seen, not just the mass propagated, which may be skewed in deep private interest. On this site, it does not matter if a million other websites/mass media are having view A and a handle of sites are having view B. Both views will be given light of day, and be subject to discussion and analysis.

      Whether in agreement or not after discussion, the outcomes will be recorded and be available for all to share and understand, though it is hoped that the most rational argument will lend itself to practical action. Hence, the object is to be concise, clear and complete.

      Thank you, once again!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. In agreement:
      “If we all had the same size CUP filled with the basic necessities for our individual survival and fulfillment, that would indeed be good.”
      “am grateful and give thanks”

      Perhaps for future clarification:
      A small few have oversized CUPS that floweth over. >> many have oversized and/or expanding CUPS. A few have gigantic and/or expanding CUPS. Hence, the frequent lack of lasting peace and fulfillment.

      With thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you April for your view! Agree that issues do demand our attention at times and to properly resolve, it is important not to be unreasonably optimistic. And agree again, “most of the time we can stay with the positive, if we will choose it.” Though maybe not all the time, as we are only human!

      If most of us can achieve what you just mentioned (reasonable positivity) with the fair share of resources, as mentioned, then perhaps there is hope to turnaround today’s outstanding problems that are mostly created by greed and/or fear. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tejaswi for your thoughts! Yes, resource is sufficient but finite, so prioritization is requisite to minimize suffering and strife, while leaving enough to move fulfillment of important collective cups. The main point is to help the less fortunate learn to fish, and settle important global issues. 🙂

      Interestingly, Maslow later wanted to replace self actualization with self transcendence (same end as our discussion), ie altruism and spirituality. Do enjoy you weekend! 🙂


Please Share Your Views!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s