It is said to be a matter of perception. And that how a person perceives the volume of liquid in a glass is somehow indicative of that person’s world view.
I personally think that is silly shit. And do professional therapists really make a judgement of a patient’s basic optimism or pessimism based on their assessment of how much liquid is in a glass? It’s a metaphor and I’m not a metaphor person. (Meaning of metaphor: “a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.”)
Googling around, my assessment of the value of the ‘glass half empty/half full’ construct is not supported – fancy that. LOL Three or 4 or seven citations all hold to the optimism/pessimism/world view interpretation.
But I have always styled myself as a pragmatist (pragmatic: “dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations”.) I describe my pragmatism as a lack of imagination – what you see is what you get, what is, IS and mostly it means nothing more than what it means. (a rose by any other name is still a rose…)
Yet I did find an enchanting interpretation of this phrase – much of which I do not understand. The article in question starts out with – “Traditionally, the optimist sees the glass as half full while the pessimist sees it as half empty. This has spawned a zillion joke variants—e.g., the engineer sees a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be, the surrealist sees a giraffe eating a necktie, etc.”
The part that I don’t completely understand has to do with physics, and the article ends with “The lesson: If the optimist says the glass is half full, and the pessimist says the glass is half empty, the physicist ducks.”
If you’d like to read the article for yourself, you can find it at What If? (glass half empty)
Round and round we go – Is it the filling of a glass? The emptying of a glass? A matter of how thirsty you are? Or a metaphor for possibilities? Or…