THE POWER OF HALF-FULL
Apparently, I possess some sort of super-power. Just a few days ago, I was thinking about how I really want a pair of gray/green Converse All-Stars like Suzanne’s. I know I’m not supposed to covet thy sister’s shoes, and I know I don’t really need another pair (more on this later), but I really wanted them. Like really bad.
Yesterday, Suzanne and I hit a few of the remaining end-of-season garage sales. We met at one outside of a storage building, and a table of shoes immediately called my name. (It should be obvious from previous posts that I am into shoes.) Right there, with sunbeams shining down from the heavens upon them, were the green Converse shoes. In a gently-loved condition with plenty of wear left. In my size. They were even the deluxe leather edition. The classic canvas would have been just fine, but I have long salivated over the leather ones, which are hard to find.
One dollar later, they were mine.
Suzanne seems to think this happens to me quite often. I simply wish for something and poof! There it is.
Perhaps it does.
Perhaps, instead, I simply focus on positive things that could be, things that would bring me joy in small and large amounts. Small things like another pair of shoes (which obviously happened yesterday), or large things like a large lottery jackpot (which hasn’t happened yet).
Perhaps I should be focusing on more meaningful things, like, say, world peace. Or maybe even national peace.
Unless you have been under a rock for the past few years, you know our country’s divisive contentiousness is at an all-time high. While it does break my heart, I know that I have done my own due diligence by voting, and doing what I can to model the kind of behavior I hope to see in my country’s leader.
This last part is the hard part.
Above that, it does me no good to dwell on the division, or to enhance the conflict and strife by inciting arguments about it. My opinion is right for me, and if yours differs from mine, then yours is right for you. I may not like it if yours doesn’t match mine, but that is the beauty of our democracy. We all get to choose where to stand.
So, I will stand tall, and I hope you will, too.
If you belong to the approximate 50% that is expecting the demise of our country in the next four years, then just know that the other approximate 50% survived the last four years thinking the same thing. Last time I checked, our country hasn’t yet gone to hell in a handbasket.
I believe that the uncompromising spirit of this great country will prevail, and as the foundation for that, I believe in the great spirit of man—and woman—kind.
I could choose to believe in our demise as a country, but I choose not to. It hasn’t happened yet, so I am choosing half-full. I am choosing to believe in the power of optimism, because that choice is my privilege; yours too. I can sign up for optimism or pessimism, and it will likely not affect our country’s operation and outcome one iota.
Same goes for the pandemic. Do everything you can to keep yourself safe and/or return to good health, follow the rules to keep everyone else safe, and stay optimistic. Thinking half-full might even help you stay healthy.
So, I ask, why should any of us choose anything but half-full?
I watched a great movie on Amazon the other day—The Secret: Dare to Dream. It was based on the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I’ve read the book, and at its core, it states that by focusing on what it is we want, we are more likely to get it. Like my new green Converse shoes. Like when you are thinking about someone you haven’t been in touch with for a while, and then you see them, or they call you. We’ve all been there.
Our thoughts work like magnets, this theory proposes. Think good thoughts, and good is more likely to find you. Think bad, and well, you get the gist. I have seen it ring true many times, so I am a believer.
The movie was a somewhat predictable, mildly-sappy love story, but a good show nonetheless. Its examples illustrating this power of our thoughts was indeed thought-provoking.
As always, I asked my sisters for their input on the topic, and here’s what they came up with:
Suzanne: “I have the power to think positive, I just don’t always do it. I can if I want to. Some days it is harder to see the positive because I am a stubborn person, and I’ll be the first to admit to admit I am stubborn and bull-headed. I know this about myself. Awareness is the key. Some people only like to see the bad. I don’t like those people, even if I am one of those people sometimes.”
Gail: “It’s always easier to look at negative aspects of life and there is so much of that, why not accentuate the positive? I have said it before: there is good in everyone. Look for it! Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop (be it garage sale shoe or not), try to put both shoes on the floor at the same time and be the good, the positive, the driving force that makes a positive impact on lives, be it yours or anyone in your circle!”
So, if it was that easy to attract a new pair of Converse sneakers to add to my collection, perhaps I should keep wishing for more. Another pair or two would be nice…they are my go-to shoes with jeans, and I don’t have very many ..if you have a size 8 ½ or 9 laying around that you don’t wear, let me know.
Byrne, R. The Secret. 2006. New York: Hillsboro, Ore. : Atria Books.