“Is the glass half empty or half full?”
I encountered this question in a personality development seminar years ago. What I knew then was there were only two types of personality who would answer this question, and that I fall either of the two. They are the pessimist who would say the glass is half empty; and the optimist who says the glass is half full. Well, I just stumbled upon this businessball.com site whose debate over this question goes on and on. And there is humor added to it. Let me share some of it below:
The optimist says the glass is half full.
The pessimist says the glass is half empty.
The project manager says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
The realist says the glass contains half the required amount of liquid for it to overflow.
And the cynic… wonders who drank the other half.
The school teacher says it’s not about whether the glass is half empty or half full, it’s whether there is something in the glass at all.
Anyway… Attitude is not about whether the glass is half full or half empty, it’s about who is paying for the next round.
The professional trainer does not care if the glass is half full or half empty, he just knows that starting the discussion will give him ten minutes to figure out why his powerpoint presentation is not working.
The ground-down mother of a persistently demanding five-year-old says sweetheart it’s whatever you want it to be, just please let mummy have five minutes peace and quiet.
The consultant says let’s examine the question, prepare a strategy for an answer, and all for a daily rate of…
The inquisitive troublemaker wants to know what’s in the glass anyhow… and wants the rest of it.
The homebuilder sees the dirty glass, washes and dries it, then puts it away in a custom oak and etched glass cabinet that he built himself using only hand tools.
The worrier frets that the remaining half will evaporate by next morning.
The fanatic thinks the glass is completely full, even though it isn’t.
The entrepreneur sees the glass as undervalued by half its potential.
The computer specialist says that next year the glass capacity will double, be half the price, but cost you 50% more for me to give you the answer.
The first engineer says the glass is over-designed for the quantity of water.
The second engineer says (when the half is tainted) he’s glad he put the other half in a redundant glass. (Based on a Dilbert cartoon by Scott Adams)
The computer programmer says the glass is full-empty.
The Buddhist says don’t worry, remember the glass is already broken.
The logician says that where the glass is in process of being filled then it is half full; where it is in the process of being emptied then it is half empty; and where its status in terms of being filled or emptied is unknown then the glass is one in which a boundary between liquid and gas lies exactly midway between the inside bottom and the upper rim, assuming that the glass has parallel sides and rests on a level surface, and where it does not then the liquid/gas boundary lies exactly midway between the upper and lower equal halves of the available total volume of said glass.
The scientist says a guess based on a visual cue is inaccurate, so mark the glass at the bottom of the meniscus of the content, pour the content into a bigger glass; fill the empty glass with fresh content up to the mark; add the original content back in; if the combined content overflows the lip, the glass was more than half full; if it doesn’t reach the top, the glass was more than half empty; if it neither overflows nor fails to reach the top then it was either half-full or half-empty. Now what was the question again?
The Dutchman would suggest to both pay for the glass and share the content. Then tells you he will have the bottom half.
The personal coach knows that the glass goes from full to empty depending on the circumstances, and reminds the drinker that he can always fill the glass when he wishes.
The grammarian says that while the terms half-full and half-empty are colloquially acceptable the glass can technically be neither since both full and empty are absolute states and therefore are incapable of being halved or modified in any way.
The auditor first checks whether the empty half is material and then designs the audit procedures to obtain sufficient evidence to conclude that the glass is indeed empty.
The waiter will hurry to replace the glass with a full one. For him there are no doubts: the glass was empty when he took it away; it is full in the bill that he brings you.
The magician will show you the glass with the full half at the top.
The physicist says that the glass is not empty at all – it is half-filled with water and half-filled with air – hence, fully filled on the whole!
The musician says he/she is unimpressed with the promoter of the concert for not providing more alcohol.
The ineffective organization would discuss the question during the board of directors meeting, convene a committee to research the problem, and assign tasks for a root cause analysis, usually without a complete explanation of the problem to those assigned the tasks. The directors would consider the problem to be above the pay grade of those assigned root cause analysis tasks.
And more strangely:
The dog just wonders: can he eat the glass or will you throw it so he can bring it back… The cat wonders why the glass is only half full (or empty)… is it a trick… poison perhaps…
The eternally optimistic eccentric would say, the glass is consistently overflowing (or is that the neurotic?…)
The person who is no longer trapped in The Matrix (whatever one might call him/her) says: “There is no glass…”
The adolescent student says the glass is just another dirty trick played by the teacher to prove that students are dumb.
The research scientist says that following initial observation and testing a working hypothesis for further research is: “The glass is both half full and half empty,” and that these findings warrant further investigation with a more representative sample of glasses and contents, which may or may not be liquid.
It made me smile too. Anyway, what is my take on that?
I am not so much of a pessimist but let me focus on the other half, of the empty side. Empty most often connotes a negative reaction. We do not like anything to be empty. We love abundance, overflowing happiness, overflowing funds. But when faced with emptiness? Oh, no, please not. Let’s face it. This world thrives in irony. It is there where it finds its balance. Life and death. Day and night. Love and hate. We do not know the meaning of the other without knowing the one opposite of it. Therefore, we must know emptiness in order to know the importance of fullness. It is then not either empty or full; it is knowing what is it all about.
In Christian perspective we must need to suffer a certain amount of emptiness in order to look for the one who can fill us to the full. It is God. It is His spirit that fills our glass into fullness. Our capacities fill the glass half full; it is God’s power that fills the other half. This shows we could not fill our glasses alone. That is what our lives is all about-to look for God everyday that He may fill our glass into fullness.
May I know what is your take on that? Please share in the comments below. And oh, if you want more of those funny quotes above, you may access it here.
Have a purposeful day!