May 21

Half Full or Half Empty?

They say that a pessimist sees a glass half empty, but an optimist see the same glass half full. One sees opportunities missed, the other sees opportunities still at hand.

A pessimist stands at the rear of a moving train, looking back and bemoaning all the sights he has missed. An optimist stands at the front of the moving train looking ahead, in awe of the panorama coming to him.

There are young pessimists, and old pessimists. A young child cannot wait until she gets older and has permission to do all the things that adults can do. An adult yearns for those days past, when she had no aches and pains, could see with clarity and without glasses, and awaited the mailman with anticipation of a letter from Grandma, rather than a dunning notice from the electric company.

May our spirits dwell on cool water remaining in the glass, rather than the humid void above the water, that does nothing to quench our thirst.

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

--Serenity Prayer, Attributed to American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

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