Picture by Ryan McGuire

Once again, I got categorized as a glass half empty person.  It wasn’t coming from a malicious place.  There was a conversation about whether it’s better to fly over land or water to which I injected “Wait, why?  Don’t you die in a crash either way?”  Glass half empty.

I tried to explain that it wasn’t that I was being pessimistic.  I was being realistic in that if a plane is coming down from a high altitude, it’s not something the pilot can recover.  That usually happens shortly after takeoff or just prior to landing…the ability to somehow land the plane without causing death.

If I were a pessimist, I would follow this thinking up with “…and that’s why I will never get on a plane.”  Thing is, I do still get on the plane.  Granted, I take Lorazapam.  But I still get on the plane.  Mentally, I know death is a possible outcome.  In fact, my biggest fear is to die in a plane crash.  Next biggest fears would be dementia, ending up in a nursing home , that the last guy I had sex with is the last guy I will have had sex with.  Anyway, the point is, I face my worst case scenario while deciding to take the chance and hope for the best outcome because the best outcome far outweighs having no travel experience at all.

This example begs the question “Why do we need to categorize people into one or the other?  And “How can there only be 2 categories to describe billions of people in the world?”  To be just one or the other over-simplifies all the possibilities and beauty that can be found in not knowing all the answers.  Why are we so afraid of the unknown?  Isn’t the “unknown” a rather pessimistic and narrow view?  I’d rather frame the “unknown” to be “possibilities.”  But then wouldn’t indicate I am being an optimist?  How can I be both in the same day?