Amana Hamdan

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The saying or the pondering, riddling, question that’s comes up in many social gatherings is the following :

“Is the glass half full or half empty?”

When this question comes up it brings about two different perspectives on how you look at the world based on the answer you give causing a division between two types of people. According to some of the research I found on this litmus test it suggests that the origins of such a test determines whether a person is an optimist or a pessimist. An optimist would answer the question as the “Glass is half full” while a pessimist would answer the question as the “Glass is half empty.” If your an optimist you will always see the good in a situation no matter how bad it gets where as a pessimist will always sees the bad in a situation no matter how much good there is, but if we looked at this common idiom from a different angle what if we were to use this concept in terms of goals or life objectives or life purpose lets see what answers we would get.

For example if you answered the question with : “The glass is half full.” It suggests that this person perceives the world or life for that matter as being half fulfilled and that you have a sense of gratitude or sense of achievement of what you have accomplished so far in life and that you are half way there in attaining all of your goals, aspirations, and life objective.

The second way to answer this question is: “The glass is half empty.” Which suggests that the person that gives this answer perceives the world or life as not seeing the fruits of their labor and that they still have a longs way to go.

Now if we analyze both of these answers it only presents you with two answers to choose from meaning two options and two choices. What if we made our own choice or our own analysis and said what if “The glass is empty.” Meaning regardless how half empty or full it appears you choose to still see empty. Leaving the rest of us skeptical as to why this person is not willing to give a choice but just see a glass. Seeing the glass as empty is either telling the world that the glass is never full and there is limitless opportunities; that life is a journey that chooses to flow seamlessly without so much having to make a choice but see that our options are boundless and should go against the tests of time. But lets say if someone sees a glass that is full to the top and gives the answer: “The glass is full.” While the person knowingly or unknowingly is aware that the glass can tip over at any time and become empty. It is still possible to fill the fully glassed water with particles and materials such as, beads, sand, dirt, even life itself such as a plant or a fish etc. showing you that there is still more that can be filled within that glass of water. Thereby going against humanity’s perception of what’s possible…so if you drink from that glass is it still considered full or empty?

Which begs the question…”How do you choose to see your glass?”

When Neo from the movie “The Matrix” is tested with bending the spoon he was forced to look at the impossible and see that there is no spoon. Humanity has a way of dividing the world in twos as we are taught early on to only choose from the following options that are shown when we should be taught to see beyond our differences and create our own. Why not look deeper, outside of the box, instead of settling for the obvious. A study was conducted using a group of East Asian and Western American students which involved a painting of a tiger in the jungle as they asked each group what did they see? They found that the American students focused and saw solely the tiger while the East Asian students focused on what was around the tiger such as the plants, colors, and running water which brought in to question how the worldwide view is not universal but different in the east and west due to the affects of culture and other various aspects of both areas.

But if we were to look at the painting from a different angle like Neo from “The Matrix” looked at the spoon we could see the depths of detail put into the painting and the characters put into place by the artist and this painting can easily become a different piece of art. For example, if we were to repaint the entire canvas black it would be a new piece of art work allowing us to draw characters or none at all meaning this painting can be repainted over and over again into another work of art making it limitless. Which answers the question as, “There is no painting.”

So now I ask how do you choose to look at your life? Do you want to stay in the box or do you want to look outside of it? Does the facets of this world confuse you so much to the point that you rather choose to settle and pick the obvious answer instead of looking beyond the options you are given because after all life has never had one answer. There is still so much that humanity has yet to discover and learn. Why not choose to see the limitless possibilities of exploration allowing our minds to stay in awe because after all I choose to see the glass as empty making my options in life limitless and that I do not have to settle with one career, one idea, one way of living, being, and identifying in a way that allows me to keep my mind wide open to a world of limitless possibilities. What do you choose? What’s your answer?



FYI: This post is strictly my opinion/perspective and my personal observations of the world and is no where near backed up by science and should not be used as a resource, but it is to encourage readers to open their mind to a world of possibility.

A.H. πŸ˜€


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