Random, Just Read It!

The Glass is Full

Most people like to see themselves as an optimist (upbeat and hopeful), a pessimist (doubtful), or a “realist” (a whiny pessimist that refuses to admit their place in life).  The litmus test has  always been the glass of water.  The optimist says it’s half full.  The pessimist says half empty.  The realist will start complaining about what does it matter, someone just drink it.

I recently finished The Life of Pi (in short a 16 year old Indian boy is stuck on a life raft with a bengal tiger).  Without too many spoilers the book finishes on a very very open ended note.  I was deeply engrossed in the book to where I was jumping sentences because the suspense was killing me.  (Note:  If you go to check out the book, do not be put off by nor fall in love with the description that it is a story that “will make you believe in God”.) And when I got to the end, it didn’t exactly leave me dissatisfied but I did think about the story for days.  I mean I’m writing a blog about it!  But it made me realize that every opinion formed on even the most minuscule decisions on life are based off a every experience we’ve ever had.  Nobody will think the way you do because nobody has been through every situation you have been.

Example,  me and the BFF went to see the movie Doubt.  Based in the 60s in a newly de-segregated Catholic school, a nun thinks the priest is diddling the little black boy.  The movie plays out and me and BFF sit there in silence.  Gathering facts and circumstantial evidence and watching the characters and doing the mashed potato (it was based in the 60s!).  The movie is over, with no definite answer as to whether or not the boy got Sandusky’d (too soon?), and we stretch, leave the theater, get into the lobby and simultaneously yell:

Her: “OMG he totally did it”
Me: “It was fishy but he was totally innocent”

How crazy! We sit and watched the same movie.  Saw the same tubby Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his creepy long nails.  Saw the same Viola Davis on screen for like 7 minutes but get nominated for an Oscar cause she does the snotty nose cry thing (see: The Help).  And yet we came out with totally different opinions.

Which brings me back to Life of Pi.  Depending on if you are a pessimist you’d basically think the story was a pile of crap and waist of time to read.  The more optimistic person would think Pi’s story is one of hope and struggle and despite whatever religious beliefs you follow makes you feel good about life.  Yeah you might be having a bad hair day but you’re not stuck in a life raft with a man-eating tiger.  And the “realist” is just all “if he was on the boat with a tiger then why didn’t he just kill the tiger and eat it”.

In the week that it’s been since I’ve read the book, I’ve felt all three ways.  I’ve tried to be logistical and think about a boy and a tiger in a boat and how physics and nature would come into place.  I get mad that I wasted my time reading it.  I am glad I read the book and would consider re-reading it at a different point in life and see what I take from it that time.  I don’t subscribe to any labels.  I like open endedness.  I like finite endings.  I don’t like the term “realist”.  It’s so hard to explain why I feel ways about certain things because I’m a sum of everything that I’ve read and heard and done and have seen.  How could you even really understand?

And by the way, the glass is full.  Half water. Half air.  100% full. 🙂

Do you consider yourself an optimist or pessimist?  Do you think the label “realist” applies to you in a way that you are NOT a pessimist?  Do you ever flip flop?  Do you like open endedness or do you need to know exactly what the answer is?  Did the end of  Inception drive you crazy?  Discuss.  Let’s be existentialist for a while.



9 thoughts on “The Glass is Full

  1. “And by the way, the glass is full. Half water. Half air. 100% full.” Genius..I like hearing your take on topics..Bre you are an enthusiast! More cause of you vision on the subject at hand is very mind opening. I have to admit I’m an optimist because I try to pull the good out of everything.

    Now I want to read the book, you have it hard copy or soft? Seems interesting…Great Blog!

    • It was the deal of the day for Kindle so I bought it. I had been hearing people talk about it for a while and I saw somewhere they were talking about it being a movie so I wanted to read it before hand. I’m sure you can get it at Half Price though. It’s a quick read.

  2. Great blog!

    I use to be an angry optimist….. There was something inside that said everything would be ok but it was going to be f*cked up on the way to ok. Now I am a hopeless optimist. I believe that everything happens for a reason. It’s how you decide to view and handle the situation that will determine the difficulty of the journey. You are to learn from every situation and become a better person. I use to wonder what my life’s purpose was and now I know that it’s to be happy and whole. Everything else is icing on the cake.

    I do not have to know everything that’s going to happen. That chit stresses me out. I like to live most of my life like a white person free falling of of a cliff…..lol

    I haven’t smashed into a rock yet so I’m hopeful that I never will.

    Geralda buy the book….. support the artist! 🙂

    again great post!

      • I am afraid of heights…… I am afraid of a lot of things but I just remind myself that I can’t let fear drive because that bia ain’t going nowhere!…lol

  3. I will be reading that book next! I am a situational optimist. As long as the situion ain’t mine, I’m optimistic about it! when it comes to me, I prep for the worse and rejoice when it never happens, kind of like under promise and then over deliver. I’m not a realist, but I keep at least two or three of them near me at all times, I think they are needed to keep the reality of the situation represented. They balance out the optimist.

    I was ticked at how Inception ended. I have had several long discussions about the totem and if it was stopping or not. Most of the time I am ok with open endedness and ambiguous endings but this one for some reason just chapped my hide!!

    Great post!!

  4. I’m not sure what the classification is (realist, optimist, pessimist)…but rather than saying if the glass is half empty or half-full….I simply choose to acknowledge that there is water in the glass.

    I’ll find a way to get by with whatever amount is in there.

  5. Great Post Bre…like G Baugh I enjoy the way that you frame your words to create a genuine picture of what you are describing.

    I like to belief I am an optimist who sometimes, because of my love from viewing things from a different perspective, can be perceived as a pessimist. However, I do enjoy viewing things for what they are too…so i guess that makes me a realist. Who knows?! Ultimately, I seek to identify the perspective not commonly referenced in an argument, a circumstance, or a situation.

    So the glass is neither half full or half empty. It’s overflowing (with air, potential, opportunity to fill, etc) until the person responsible for the glass puts the glass down and walks away from it.

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