The Glass Is Half Something

A quote recently stood out to me today and revealed a deep misunderstanding about the classic the quote, “The glass is half full!”.

Is the  glass half full?

One of the earliest instances of this expression can be found in this television advertisement in the 1960’s promoting the peace core.

Vintage Peace Corps PSA - Glass Half Full

This quote is quite powerful but can be a shallow way to divide positive and negative outlooks on life. This expression was once inciteful, but has buried itself deep into popular culture that it’s now annoying.

Alternative Quotes

So, I recently glanced at a quote that struck me as a very concise way to bridge the two perspectives on life, rather than divide them.

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true…

James Branch Cabell1926

In my opinion, this quote gives a deeper representation of these two outlooks. It’s not divisive and actually reconciles both beliefs a lot clearer. It can be said that the glass question divides people into full OR empty answers. However this quote has a better emphasis on unifying both outlooks… the world is the best AND it’s depressing that could be true.

Appreciation for the world is positive Understanding that this world is the best is pessimistic

This just struck me and I wanted to write about it. I’m interested if you have any thoughts on this too.