The glass half full or half empty expression is used to determine whether we are optimistic or pessimistic about a situation. In a society which places a false value on scarcity – that there’s not enough to go around for everyone – we can become selfish, greedy and not be generous about what we have.
But as Stephen Pinker argues in his 2018 book, Enlightenment Now, we live in the most peaceful period of history, with less disease, famine and a longer life expectancy amongst other things.
There is abundance all around if we choose gratitude. When 1 in 10 people worldwide still don’t have access to clean water, I can be grateful for the fact that I do. Instead of a glass half full or glass half empty, I should be grateful that I actually have a glass. And I have clean, running water, as soon as I turn on a tap in my home.