by Weston James
It's my answer to the question: "Is the cup half empty or half full?"
|My original title was: The volume of the liquid is equal to one half the volume of the glass.
Optimism vs pessimism the age old question: is the glass half full or half empty?
The question (that pops into my brain when this philosophic cipher is presented) is "Where's the action?" Empty and full are adverbs so for something to be half full something has to be filling it. Example: water being poured into the glass. In the same token for something to be half empty something has to be emptying it. Example: someone drinking from the glass.
So then the question is rephrased typically to be if you walked up on a glass that was half full or empty how would you describe it (I personally think this is absurd and silently wonder if I am walking upon this glass in the forest where the tree falls down and supposedly doesn't make a sound). I grudgingly answer one of two ways. The first, being very scientific and nerdy, I say that the top half has evaporated H2O, carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide and the bottom has mostly liquid H2O but also has NaCl, Florine, and a few other electrolytes.
If pressed further I, even more grudgingly (grudginglier? more grudgingly? grammar sucks?) than before, say half full. I do this because I am the farthest thing from a pessimist and I know that saying something is half empty forever marks you as "That Guy." However, I am not a true optimist either. I am an idealist, a dreamer, and (for lack of a better word) a romantic. I see the silver lining on every cloud and say that the cloud doesn't need to rain or storm for you to find its silver. I admit that idealism has truly become a double edged sword for me ever since I adopted this persona. Because when I see that glass no matter how much liquid is there I'll say it's half full but I'll be thinking "There could be so much more." Either that or if it's filled to the brim with water I'd think "Why can't it be full of Dr. Pepper?"
It's almost like seeing the failing of my ideals. I've always believed that the opposite of idealism has been realism and I see this logical realist trend in my thinking trying to pull me away from my idealistic utopia. For example, the idealist in me says that it is possible for me to win a million dollars, but I don't think I will. In fact I haven't been entered into anything that will win me a million dollars so I am very confident that I won't. This fact and logic makes me doubt the fact that it is still possible for me to win a million bucks. The idealist in my says "Why not?" The failing of my ideals says "How?"
Maybe a better example is the ideal of the future girlfriend or spouse. (Yes girls, some guys actually do dream about being married.) I imagine how she'll be the most beautiful girl you've ever seen, she'll laugh at all my jokes, never cry when I'm angry, and she'll want a big wedding so she can write her own vows to proclaim her undying love for me to all our friends and family. Our marriage will be the cute kind of bumpy where you fight over razors, tooth brushes, and toilet seats. Then the caption will roll across the screen as the narrator says "And they lived happily ever after. The End."
No idealist, myself included, actually believes that we'll get all of that, but he does believe that the love he'll feel for that future someone will be enough to get him through what doesn't fit the dream. That the intangible makes the tangible even better than the fantasy. You see (unlike pessimism, optimism, or realism,) idealism isn't about what you think will or will not happen or what is or isn't true. It's about the hope and the dream that truth and happenstance are going to be exactly what you'll want when they finally arrive.
Idealism means faith.
So, I don't think it matters if the cup is half empty or half full, I am going to imagine it overflowing and be satisfied when I get half full......or half empty for that matter.