It is interesting how different people can look at the same situation and have different observations about it. Recently as my wife was surfing the internet, she came across a very astute observation about the common question, “Is a half-filled glass of water half-full or half empty?” The traditional way of looking at this question is that it is half-full if you are an optimist and it is half-empty if you are a pessimist. However, a person on the internet came up with an entirely different answer I had never before considered. The individual said a half-filled glass of water is actually a completely full glass. It is half-filled with water and half-filled with air. What a great observation!

At Thanksgiving we are often admonished to think about those things for which we are grateful. For some of us this is easier than for others because some people have an abundance of good experiences which have filled their glass to overflowing, while others may have had so few good experiences that their glass is not even half-filled. Perhaps if we expand our perspectives both groups can have a “full” glass of Thanksgiving. If you think about the glass that is half-filled with water and half-filled with air, the water is something you can see and feel while the air cannot be seen or felt. So what is the “air” filling your Thanksgiving glass? I have a couple of ideas. First of all, going through difficult experiences often helps us to be able to recognize the pain of others going through similar experiences. Coming along side of someone in that difficult situation can be extremely helpful when they know you truly understand what they are going through because you have been there yourself. While we are not thankful for the difficult experience, we can be thankful that, because of it, we are able to help someone else. The other idea I have on the “air” in our Thanksgiving glass is how difficult experiences provide opportunities for personal growth and maturity. Again, while we will not be thankful for the experience, we can be thankful for this growth. So as we celebrate another Thanksgiving, let us all raise our “full” Thanksgiving glasses in a toast to one another.

John Reese
Elder Care Coordinator

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