As you gaze upon the glass, does it appear to be half-full or half-empty? The answer depends upon many factors.
Your personality plays a role. Usually, an optimist will say the glass is half-full, and a pessimist views the glass as half-empty.
More than likely, an individual who is depressed finds the glass half-empty and someone who is happy and full of joy visualizes the glass as half-full.
There also is reality. If you have experienced a difficult life, your glass will more likely be half-empty in contrast to people who have been fortunate to lead more enjoyable lives — their glasses will appear to be half-full.
How people view the status of the content of their glass frequently changes with age, and that makes sense. When you are age 25, it is unlikely you have yet faced the many vicissitudes of life. You are usually in good health and may even have the feeling of being omnipotent. The glass for you appears to be more than half-full, and maybe even spilling over the brim. You have a long life to look forward to.
But, as the years go by, and they do so very quickly, there is a good chance your perspective may change. You will ultimately get to the stage when you realize you have lived more years than you have left in your life.
Sixty- or 70-year-old individuals have fewer years left to live, therefore, their glass may start appearing to be less full.
And, as you grow older, you usually have more maladies and more aches and pains. All of these issues may be associated with an increased incidence of depression.
Therefore, an older individual, who was once a half-full type of person, with age and facing new issues, the contents of the glass may slowly ebb away and become less and less, making the glass appear half-empty.
But it certainly does not have to happen this way. There are positive aspects, and there are many, of growing older. Learn to enjoy and appreciate them.
Accept the challenge of keeping the glass half-full — no matter what your age or the tribulations you may face.
Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.