How full is the glass?

Do you see the glass as half full or half empty?

Once upon a time, when I was a fifth-grade teacher, one of my students told me that the most important thing he had learned from me that year was to always give people the benefit of the doubt. I will treasure that as one of the best compliments I ever received as a teacher. (The other? “She reads like you are really there.”)

When it comes to others, I am definitely a glass-half-full person. I do try to give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. I hope that deep down I have an altruistic motive; in actuality, though, I wonder if I cut people slack because I hope that they will do the same for me.

Because, for whatever reason, I tend to be glass-half-empty when it comes to my own life. I don’t usually see it as having a negative outlook – on the contrary, I feel that I see things all too clearly – but I don’t usually give myself the same breaks that I give to others. I don’t know where this attitude comes from. High expectations, perhaps, but my own, or those of others? I’m not sure.

My dad has always tried to impress upon me that the Golden Rule is a two-way street: you are to love your neighbor AS yourself. I need to keep that in mind.

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