Sunday, March 11, 2012

What's the Context

We've all heard the old advice about how to view a glass. Some view that glass as half empty, and some view it as half full. Thanks to the connotations of "empty" and "full," we are supposed to believe that viewing a glass as half empty is a negative view, and that viewing that glass as half full is positive, and how we should be viewing it.

I don't always agree with the traditional view. My feeling is that you have to look at the context that glass falls within before you decide how to view that glass.

Let's take to-do lists. This time of year, with the "P" holiday coming right up, I'm thrilled if my glass is half empty. It means I got ahead of schedule and have less left to do. Looking at that glass as half full would clearly indicate that I still have lots more to do. In this case "empty" is what I want to see, not full.

I may want my coffee cup full or even half full, but I most definitely want any work needing to be done to be in the "half empty" category.

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