My glass is still half-full

One of the reasons I started blogging four years ago was to share my excitement about the world. What an extraordinary place we inhabit! And life itself is such a miracle, and a true privilege. It’s something to be savoured every second of every day.

You can tell that I’m a glass half-full kind of person. But I’m not an “OMG, my glass is totally overflowing with pink champagne” kind of guy. I’m not stupid, nor ignorant. I see the problems of the world, and I know that not everyone is as fortunate as me. But, yes, I believe that people are mainly good and deserving. And most of all I believe that optimism pays dividends, and that pessimism tends to be self-fulfilling.

Another reason I started blogging was that I hoped to meet lots of new and interesting people, and I have certainly done that. I like to think I have made some real friends online, even though I have so far never met any of my fellow bloggers in “real” life.

But my fellow bloggers are perhaps not as diverse as I had hoped. With the whole world available, most of my regular blog followers seem to be left-leaning Americans, even though I am neither American nor left-leaning myself. Perhaps this is the typical demographic of a blogger. Who knows?

But I have also encountered people who disturb my state of mind. This is not because they disagree with my views. I know that I have strong opinions, and I’m not shy about telling the world about them. But I sometimes encounter a level of negativity I hardly ever encounter in real life. There are people in the blogging world who aren’t glass half-full people at all. They are “my glass was stolen from me by some bastard who drank my drink, then smashed the glass and pushed it into my face” kind of people.

I’m sorry for those people, but I find them very wearing.

So I’m just going to sit here sipping my drink. And do you know what? No matter how much I sip, my glass is still half-full.


32 responses to “My glass is still half-full

  1. Cheers from a left-leaning American blogger. May your glass be never empty.

  2. An impressive feat these days, keeping one’s optimism intact (holding the middle ground between the cynical and the Panglossian). I offer my compliments and comradeship.

    P.S. Compared with much of the U.S. population, you are indeed left-leaning, my friend.

  3. My experience is that things are rarely as bleak as they appear in moments of despair. (Although they’re also never as perfect as they may appear in moments of elation.) That, and whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in, there are almost always options to improve or mitigate things.

    • So by that logic you should totally vote Trump 😉

      • Haha…no.

        I suspect Trump’s incompetence would limit the amount of actual damage he could do, but I have no interest in seeing that hypothesis tested.

        • Incompetence isn’t the only vice of Trump. To me, it’s more disturbing that he’s lies in almost everything he says simply to gain cheap personal popularity. He doesn’t seem to care of anything else. E.g., anyone with brains knows that building a wall with Mexico is expensive, harmful for the environment, wouldn’t solve the immigration problem, and Mexico is not going to pay for it. But he still says what he says about the wall no matter how bad the idea is, because there are people who cheer when he says this nonsense. What will he advocate next? Gas chambers for Muslims? It seems, this is the problem with right populists around the world including the Brexit advocates. They backed off on their own campaign promises the day after the referendum. This is despicable.

        • Oh, no argument from me. Trump lies with complete abandon. Most of his lies are vicious and divisive. And neither he nor his supporters seem to care when he’s called out on them. His winning would be a disaster, at many levels. (Just the fact that Republicans have allowed him to get this close to the Presidency is harmful to our democracy.)

          My only point was that a successful Presidency is mostly about persuading other people, with independent power bases, to do what you want them to do. I see nothing in Trump’s history to make me think he would be successful at that.

  4. Yes, these angry trollbeasts are everywhere. I rather like that they’re so very active on the interwebs. I rather hope it means they’re chained to their devices at home, not out in the real world, effecting real pain.To you, sir, I offer a toast – with my own bottomless half-full glass.

  5. I’ve found that there is one good thing to the nastiness on the Internet. When some mean spirited person says things that vaguely echo my own thoughts and beliefs, it forces me to reevaluate my assumptions about the world. I don’t want to be one of “those people.”

  6. Actually having some good French wine myself. With cheese… But I still fail to see the silver lining on this cloud. Putting aside the economy – which may or may not recover in the next few months – I see this as a blow for a more progressive and free world. As someone who never had a problem with EU regulation ( protecting the environment? Yes please! The rights of the workers? Yes please again!) I fail to see what the anti EU spirit was all about.

    • Looking forward to a nice bottle of white this evening too. Mine is from New Zealand. And I suppose that might be the only consolation – that we lift our eyes from Europe and look at the world in a wider way (did you know that the EU restricts imports of New Zealand butter?) Not that the majority of Brexiteers will see it that way. They are mostly Little Englanders.

  7. I’m a little inspired by this blog. To say the least, I am very similar in how the world around me is a blessing every day I wake up. I see how vast the cosmos is and how deep the oceans reach, I see how much of our world is filled with amazing creatures, both human and non-human. It is a blessing to be here in this world existing today. Being a glass half full guy isn’t enough for me though. I am also a help anyone and everyone I can, kind of guy. I’m impressed by how open you are though. You seem very secure in yourself, you also seem like your not out to impress everyone with your views. A good deal of blogging falls into the category of people trying to prove to others that they are great.

    I think that what most people don’t understand about positive vibe people is that we are not blinded with the idea that the world is filled with pure happiness. It isn’t about being clueless to the atrocities but more about being a force that defies atrocious actions. I for one do not walk past someone being bullied. Even though I know I am risking my life I refuse to be someone who turn his head out of fear. This is not for everyone though so I am not judging anyone for being afraid.

    The best way to explain what it takes to be like Steve is, Imagine your day as you walk through it. You can walk through it and notice all the things that are frustrating, or notice all the things that are inspiring. Noticing all the frustrating things doesn’t change your day, or noticing all the inspiring things either. Those things happen around you regardless of what you pay attention to. But noticing all the stupidity or the unfairness makes a person change into someone who thinks in terms of unhappiness, unfairness and stupidity; and noticing the beauty of the world or the kindness of people makes a person think in terms of love, kindness and bravery. The world has both of these things happening in front of you at the same time. What you are drawn to determines what your inner self develops into.

    I honestly don’t know how to change what you are drawn to because I am always just being myself wherever I am. One thought that might help is to remember to be OK with being laughed at, be OK with being the fool. No matter how much we know we are a fool in many fields so don’t allow that fear to control you. Others judgement means nothing. If you allow others to make their judgement a coin with worth, you allow yourself to give away who you are.

    • Thank you for your inspiring words! I wish I was brave enough to help everyone I meet, but I am not. When I was growing up I was much less secure and optimistic. I was bullied at school. Some days my life was pure misery. I learned that I had to remove harmful people from my life, so that I could find my true self. I did that and never looked back. Thanks again for your comments.

      • It isn’t always the best thing to insert ourselves into another persons situation because we usually won’t know the whole story. Some people also like to handle their own business. Plus bullying is a volatile situation, I may do something that I feel ashamed of later if I am not able to maintain self control. So there are plenty of reasons this is not a great idea, but I think it’s a good risk if I can help someone who is being controlled by threats of violence from another person. I’ve even chickened out because of fear at times, one time a man was violently shaking his girlfriend outside of a bar. After I asked him to quit he yelled something I vaguely remember and I did nothing but stand where i was and watched them drive away. So don’t be hard on yourself at all.

        I don’t like violence and I especially don’t like being responsible for hurting anyone. I rarely ever raise my voice or get mad, going so far as to actively suppress my anger. I have a personal defect where my conscious can give control to a process that can decide its own actions where the actions are fearless murderous violence. It needs to be said that once I actively hand over control I do not like my actions because this chooser doesn’t care how much physical harm I endure. Once control is handed over I almost always try as hard as I can to reconnect, because I can see the Stupidity in the decisions(like chasing a guy pointing a shotgun at me with a little stick in my hand). But now I am flailing away inside my head with no way to control what I am doing or saying. I think the way I am using it is the only positive way, albeit pseudo positive. The person that I am is humble and giving and very forgiving, I also act like an easy target and have set up bullies into thinking I will be easy prey.

        That’s about as much as anyone wants to hear about me and my other. I was hoping that reading this will help you to be OK with not wanting to hurt people. Even though you may feel it as fear, alot of the fear could be fear of putting yourself in a situation where you hurt someone.

  8. taurisstar69, this really struck me: ” It isn’t about being clueless to the atrocities but more about being a force that defies atrocious actions.” may I share it publicly in the following way: “Being optimistic: It isn’t about being clueless to the atrocities but more about being a force that defies atrocious actions.”? How can I attribute it to you?

  9. Jeh tween Gong

    Excellent post.
    “I’m not stupid, nor ignorant. I see the problems of the world, and I know that not everyone is as fortunate as me.”
    But, do you have courage?
    We can tell the right from wrong without wisdom and/or knowledge, but it takes courage.
    There is no need for knowledge or wisdom to know the right or wrong about this article { }.

    “No matter how much I sip, my glass is still half-full.”
    With courage, one’s cup will be always full.

  10. I love the phrase “Optimism pays dividends”. Glad to have you on WordPress, I hope you never lose your positivity.

  11. I’m fine with half a glass (although the problem solver in me thinks I should get a smaller glass). I just wish people would stop spitting in it.

    There is also the sense that being too content may lead to the illusion that we don’t have a very long way to go. Life is pretty sweet and easy for the likes of you and me, but quite a different story for a great deal of the world.

    • Yeah, I hate it when people spit in the glass.

      I’m not under any illusions about how far we have to go, but I feel confident that we are moving slightly more in the right direction than in the wrong direction. BTW I have found that life gets easier the more hard work you put into it! Just because I studied at Oxford doesn’t mean I come from some kind of privileged background. Far from it.

      • “I feel confident that we are moving slightly more in the right direction than in the wrong direction.”

        Overall, setbacks aside, I think so too.

        “I have found that life gets easier the more hard work you put into it!”

        Generally true. Not always. 🙂

        One thing I noticed when I ran the corporate rat race was that the more I did for them, the more they dumped on me. (At one point I was averaging over 12 hours a day.) It certainly is true that the hard work tends to be a requirement, but so is luck.

        And Steve… you were born privileged (as was I). Male, white, presumably healthy and sane, natural-born citizens of world atomic super-powers. In this world, that is a serious bit of privilege and luck!

  12. Guilty as charged. American. Left leaning. Cup half full and more.
    It’s only on a rare occasion that someone is snarky with me on my blog…and it surprises me how much it stings, since I don’t even know these people. It takes some kind of skill not to be worn down by negativity that seems to be aimed directly at one’s self, Mostly it helps to remember that vitriolic comments are more like selfies that they are projecting, which, although we happen too end up too close for comfort, really is just about themselves.

    I love what Jim Ruebush wrote at the top of your blog. ditto from me.

    Haven’t read the rest of the comments here yet, but a quick look tells me that I will be likely read every one.

  13. Thanks for sharing this. I lost my Dad just over a year ago and he saw the positive in life right til the very end even when his body had given up. He was a true inspiration. It is not about ignoring negative events or repressing your feelings but being grateful for what is good I think. I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to have a look? Today’s post relates to seeing the positive. Have a good day, Sam 🙂

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