Sunday, December 6, 2015

Half full

Yesterday my wife comes home and has this look on her face ….It’s at this point that I start to get worried.  My mind starts to reel and the process of fabrication brings to mind every possible scenario of mishap or misstep with each compounding on its self until I am ready to divulge the hidden body of Jimmy Hoffa.

 The questions of what did I do and how much trouble am I in starts to take over with the realization that it doesn’t really matter what I did, the look alone is enough to insinuate and prosecute all the guilt I have done, and will do for years to come, especially if I don’t know what it is I’ve done.  Aren’t I supposed to know what I’ve done, even if I don’t have a clue?  Like most males my mind starts racing for those patterns and excuses that most of us have tucked away deep inside for such an occasion….Even for those positive “I didn’t do anything” moments the fear that we will get caught is a constant fear.

I think she could see the look of impending doom and despair on my face as I struggled to grasp the severity of a situation I had no clue about  (this is a good point to explain that even if we don’t know what we did wrong, or even if we think we did nothing wrong that primeval gene within the male mind lingers in our brains forcing us to think we’re in trouble, even when we’re not)  so she softens her voice and proceeds to tell me that… the window on the driver side of the car won’t roll up….The Neanderthal like processing of my mind keep me staring in disbelief even when the “look” was no longer dangerous to me I had trouble wrapping my mind around the reality of the situation.  And then it hit…. 

Oh my gosh, it was like the world being lifted form Atlas’s shoulders; and for those of you who don’t know who Atlas was, he’s the guy holding up the world, just barely, as he struggles to maintain not only his balance but the balance of the world, trying his best to keep it from wobbling and crumbling to the ground.  I have to point out in this scenario of Greek Mythology that even though Atlas and others were considered Titans and they were God like, even as gods, didn’t he have to be standing on something while holding up the earth? I mean how could he be holding up the earth while not standing on something?

So, from impending doom to a broken window the two do not compare in severity, but how often do we project our own level of distress on minor mishaps of our lives creating apocalyptic feelings of anguish and related self imposed suffering and guilt.  We are, it seems a negative people with a propensity toward the surrealistic and irrational with a tendency toward the most impossible and most improbable; “we’re all going to die” mindset brought on by the lack of milk in the fridge.

That proverbial cup may indeed be half full but in our pessimistic and enthusiastically negative demeanor we see only that which is not there, instead we focus our eyes on what has passed, what has lapsed and what might happen, letting our minds wander while the reality of opportunity slips through our vision and our failing grasp.  

Politically we are a broken and downhearted people that look toward others to solve our issues.  We place hope and faith in many who are more messed up that we and pray that they will solve our futures, fix our present and in some cases erase our past. 

Politics invariably brings out the worst in most while those left standing are shells of what used to be.  The infighting and the overall battles may equal the war to come but the battle weary fighters have little left over when the smoke and muck clear from the battlefield that is politics.

Trump has in some ways, and so has Carson, been able to stand aloof from the rest.  Their letting others stand shoulder to shoulder, away from the blows and shots that leave lasting scars, while trump and Carson maintain a clear path to a hopeful victory.   We need that hope again, a hope that Reagan portrayed.

Over a few short decades we have transformed a positive outlook into the worst of everything.  We have the worst economy since the first caveman traded furs with a neighboring tribe.  We have the hottest weather, the ice is melting faster than ever, the ozone layer is thinning like never before, our rain forests will be gone in a week and bovine flatulence will kill us all if we don’t stop drinking milk.  The gloom and doom of our everyday lives have become a habit of convenience; it’s easier to sell darkness and confusion rather than clarity and light.  Bad news sells, it always has.  Who really cares about the good stuff anyway?

The half empty glass may truly be half empty and yet at the same time it is half full telling anyone who will listen that you still have half of whatever it was that you were drinking and you now have the unique opportunity to fill the rest of the glass with whatever you like.  Please be careful what you mix with what you’ve got however, because some chemical compositions can be very volatile, as can some ideas when mixed with other ideas.

Thinking of the world in negative terms has become an industry of unparalleled success and not just in the form of dollars and cents, or pounds and pennies or whatever currency you’re currently using but the idea that selling negativity over glorified enthusiasm and hope not only makes lots and lots of money it has transformed out psyche and changed our moral outlook, replacing it with the all too familiar “eat, drink and be Merry for tomorrow we die” mantra.  At some level I can understand the relationship between getting what you can out of life, especially if you believe there is only a limited space of life in order to obtain those pleasures.  But on the other side of that sullied coin is the hope of things to come, the faith that all will be taken care of and that like the lilies in the field, we need not worry about the tragedies of life.  Ours is but a speck of time, do not waste it on frivolity and favors.  We have an eternity to seek and learn of ourselves but must pass through this small test first in order to prove that we can handle the reality that is life.

If we truly believe that life now is all we have then I do understand those who want to “get what they can” but from a logical perspective perhaps we should be thinking a bit differently.  Even if this life is all there is, is pleasure all that life has to offer?  Is selfishness the only way to temporal happiness?  And is gorging on life the only way to ensure that you at least had your part of the pie?

There is so much more.  The love we have for our children is never paralleled by the pleasures of a night on the town.  The feelings of joy from a loving wife or from a mother’s touch, a fathers approval can never be matched by those insignificant and fleeting, temporal pleasures.  Even if this is all we have and death brings nothing but that final darkness our time here can have meaning and purpose and can have a significant effect on those who we touch and caress, those we love and favor and for those who witness our kindness and service.

If your cup is half full or half empty, perhaps the way to rethink the gloom and doom is to look toward what we actually have, a glass that has something in it, something that is drinkable and sustainable, refreshing and satisfying.  If we look at our country and what we have rather then what we have not then life seems brighter, more clear and positive.  We truly do have a great country, especially when it’s compared to some of the others in this world.

Democrat, Republican, Liberal or conservative, the Green Party or the Socialists, we all have the same opportunity to look at what we have and make the final determination of what is important and what is not. 
Trump, Sanders, Carson or Clinton, there is a difference in their outlook and perspective and this election really does matter but what matters most is what we have now and what we do with that understanding.

That is after all what life is all about, is it not?