Is Your Glass Half Full?

Here's a different take on the glass being half full or empty. Several of my coworkers volunteered at a crisis center.  Their main function is a food bank.  We arrived in the early morning and watched a video about the center.  One of the staff members led two of us to the back and we packed food for distribution.  We packed cardboard boxes of food for families that ranged from one through six.  For a larger family a combination of boxes can be given.

People who arrive to collect food earn below the poverty line and have no current means of earning more.  They're also heavily affected by the economic situation.  Not that I want to use it as an excuse because I know each of us can create our own economic environment.

When I went back to work someone asked me how volunteering was.  I explained where it was, what we did, that the center provided food to those who need it.

"Isn't that sad?" she said.

I thought about it for a moment.  Is it sad?

The crisis center has provided food for those who need it for years.  When people come get food to help feed their families, they're extremely thankful.  The vibes of service that flowed through that place was very inspiring.  Inspiring enough for me to write a post.  I mean, the center feeds over five thousand families in any single month.

People are coping with their current situations.  Giving up would mean giving up on their children, their families.  Would you?

The person who thought it was sad didn't understand the good the crisis center provided.  She continued to say how lucky we were to have our jobs.  Sure.  I agree.  But her view on the crisis center indicates her view of life as half empty.  Do you?

In my story, the hero is forced to fight his opposition for good reason.  He can't give up, even though he desperately wants to. Fighting a war puts his warrior son at risk, but giving up would put hundreds of thousands of lives into severe oppression.

The worst part is that the people the hero is fighting for sees his act of war as egotistical.  They see the glass half empty because they don't fully understand the situation.  They don't know their hero is fighting for their freedom.  That is sad.

Is Rebelling a Bad Thing?

The hero of the 7th Province has a choice.  He either rebels against his close friend and former mentor, or join him in taking over the world.  Each choice ends in war.  That's a tough place to be.  Is there a correct choice?  For the hero I'm not sure.  As a writer, the choices that each character makes, ultimately mine, is a crap shoot. I love that.

Even though I've plotted my whole novel, each day I wrote brought new discoveries and challenges that made me giddy.  I'm never sure how things were to happen.  I just know they had to happen.  As a result, writing my fantasy was a huge adventure.

Is rebelling bad?

I have a secret.  It's one of my favorite things about myself.  I don't get along well with authority figures.  That doesn't bode well since my day job is encrusted in a corporate empire.  The funny thing is they have a lot of propaganda that emphasizes their business values.  I won't get into the hypocrisy of it.

Is rebelling not a good thing?

A parent tells a child to kiss Uncle Louie.  Child scrunches her little face and shakes her head.  Parents eggs the child on, saying Uncle Louie loves the child.  Child pouts her lips, turns, runs toward her parent's leg, and grasps with all her might.  Parent gets upset, unhinges the child, pushes her to Uncle Louie, and forces her to kiss him on the cheek.  (I credit this example to my best friend.)

Is this wrong?

Hell yeah.

The parent just took the child's power away, forced her to kiss a strange man, despite her not wanting to.  If Uncle Louie were a child molester, the parent just punched a large hole in the child's ability to resist the attack.  In the child's mind love is associated with force.  And we wonder why some women stay with men who batter them.

What if the child was just being a brat?

Firm discipline should take place.  You decide what firm is.  That's different in each culture, society, family and individual.  But in the example above, the child is not being a brat.

Teaching a lot of adolescent kids made me realize one thing.  Almost every single one exerts their own independence.  Every parent exerts their control in an attempt to guide them.  It's the nature of the ocean, the ebb and flow.  Parents think their kids are being a pain in the ass.  Offsprings think their parents are being assholes.  What more could you ask for in a relationship?

Think of a pendulum searching for their own center.

Parents often ask me to infect a behavioral change.  But that's an impossible task.  All I can do is mentor them without limitation.  Tom Cruise taught me that.

He was on Inside the Actor's Studio.  A great show by the way.  He said that his mother never limited him in what he did.  She was watchful, but allowed him to explore the world.  Now he's some actor making at least twenty million dollars per movie, chump change.

As you sit in your day job, and if it's not the place you want to be, then what are you doing about it?

See part 1 to this article.