A LIFE THAT’S LESS THAN FULL

Most of us are familiar with the philosophical question “Is the glass half empty or half full ?”

Well, Wikipedia has this to say on the above quote ‘It is a common expression, generally used rhetorically to indicate that a particular situation could be a cause for optimism (half full) or pessimism (half empty).’

I have a totally different interpretation of this though… It’s totally irrelevant if the glass is Half empty or Half full because what is important is that the glass is ‘not full’ as it should be and, anything that is less than full is not easy to live with.

The other day, I was at the Clinic, waiting to visit my GP. Despite having an appointment and despite being on time, I had to wait for quite long! Not having anything better to do, I was aimlessly flipping through the pages of the magazine I had randomly picked up, until I found an interesting article. That it was a multi-specialty clinic (housing a Pediatrician, a Psychiatrist, a GP, a Dentist, and a Psychologist) , made it noisier and therefore harder for me to focus on what I Untitledwas reading. Finally frustrated by the chaos around me, I gave up on my reading and decided to engage in some people-watching. I glanced around… There were a few elderly people, mothers with coughing kids and wailing babies … nothing unusual for a clinic. And then I noticed them, coming out of the psychologist’s room, discussing something. There were three of them, an Old man, a middle-aged woman (probably his daughter), and her son. The first thing that struck me about the boy, who looked about 10, was that he was different. He kept drawing invisible figures in the air and seemed oblivious to everything around him. As I continued watching, the boy suddenly started running towards the waiting area. The mother and grandfather started running after him, their eyes reflecting a sense of disquietude and dismay over what he might do. The boy continued running, right past me, and entered the aisle right behind me, went till the end of the row of seats and stopped near the last few chairs, apparently the ones they had been occupying while waiting to see the doctor. Then, he bent down and picked up an umbrella and a bag that was lying on the floor and returned to his mother and grandfather with a triumphant smile. As I slowly let myself relax, I realized that I had been holding my breath all along, expecting something untoward ! I turned around and to look at the grandfather and mother. Their flustered faces instantly metamorphosed into those that radiated immense relief. I overheard the mother tell her father “I never thought he was capable of being so responsible and self-aware.” She hugged her son and told him how proud he had made her.

           As I sat there in a state of disbelief, a sudden revelation dawned upon me. Here we are, complaining, lamenting, and worrying about wealth, fame, prestige and so many other complicated stuff, and yet we shut our eyes to the fact that we live amidst people who are deprived of even a bare-bones version of life.

We all have this tendency to gloss over the blessings in our life while throwing all our problems and woes into sharp relief. It is basic human instinct to juxtapose our lives and our situations with those of the people around us. It is also natural that for the purpose of such collocation, we always choose only someone who seems to be better off than us in all aspects, so we can lament in length about all our tribulations. We often fail to perceive that for every person who is above us, on a higher rung in the ladder, there is one on a lower rung, below us! Why not peg ourselves up against these people and be thankful for the little extras that enhance our lives?

A child picking up his belongings before going home is something people would not even notice and yet for this mother, it was a momentous occasion. Her fugacious enthusiasm and joy spoke volumes about the life ordeal she was enduring.

         Simple things that we take for granted, are, for many others out there, a long coveted dream that might never become a reality. So the proverbial glass, whether it is half-full or half-empty anyway is going to be difficult to handle and live with.

          And God is so extremely critical and choosy, that he does not hand out full glasses to all and sundry. So If you have been blessed with a full or an almost full glass, do not lament about how difficult it is to keep it from spilling over, rather take the effort to look at the empty ones, the half-full ones around you and, be thankful for you full glass!

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