Looking at an Empty Glass

The definition of an optimist is one who sees a glass half full. A pessimist sees the same glass as half empty. What then do you call a person who sees the glass empty? Give up?
You call them no longer thirsty. Maybe they are just practical. The one who instead of pondering the philosophical implications of a glass of water grasps the reality and acts on it.

I tend to be a thinker. Sometimes I over think things. There is a time and place for that kind of mental analysis of action – the chess game, politics, corporate machinations. Often though it is not a matter of thinking but of feeling and then acting. I am hungry therefore I will eat. I am thirsty so I drink. I see a need and I step into the breech. There is no need for extreme thought and a cost/benefit analysis. Sometimes you just have to go with your emotional intelligence and give someone a hug or a kind word or a helping hand.

Why this little rant? Because I see too many people standing at ground zero thinking. They are absorbed in deep thought trying to parse the path that will lead to the best outcome for themselves instead of reaching down and helping the fallen to stand. We are in the season of Lent. This is a time of penance, alms giving, and prayer. That sounds pretty introspective and it is. At the same time it is demanded that we “give up” something that brings us into solidarity with the poor and suffering. We are tasked to “be Christ” in the world – Clothe the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the infirm, visit the prisoner. These are all actions. That means we need to DO SOMETHING! What are you doing?

20 thoughts on “Looking at an Empty Glass

  1. This is spot on and falls within my own train of thought. I am a thinker by nature but I am also practical and I don’t let myself overthink to a place where I am constantly trying to visualize where it is I want to be. I simply live each day like it’s my last and take life as it comes. Along the way, I do my part to help those who need a little help, in whatever form it is needed. Though I practice no religion, I think it is the human thing to do.


    1. If I find it wandering I’ll send it back to you – perhaps with a little note pinned to its shirt! The change is seasons does cause a certain squirreliness among some people…


  2. I do what I can year-round, to help the people of Central Africa, which includes giving to 2 NGOs. One is Water for Good, and the other is Three Strands which is a medical work. I know and trust the people who started these 2 ministries. As you know, that’s where my heart is.


    1. I think the idea of denying yourself luxuries, treats and frivolous items to remind yourself of those who don’t have those things is a good exercise but is especially meaningful if you take an action to help those who are in need… We have to look further than our finger tips to do good in the world.


  3. I tend to have little patience for those who are all talk and no action. Of course we need to stop and consider how best to act, but sometimes we get so caught up in the thinking that we never actually get around to helping! It may be just me, but I tend not to be impressed with protestors for the same reason. It’s so easy to protest against something, but if you really want to make a difference, roll up your sleeves and do the hard work of actually fixing the problem……


    1. I agree. There is a time for making your opinions known but it must be followed by the DOING to be effective. In Lent we are supposed to do good… So I’m trying my best!


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