Friday, 21 September 2018

Half Filled

The old saying about pessimists seeing the glass half empty and optimists seeing it half full has been on my mind this morning. Some friends were talking about a news item about young man who joined a hate-cult and went on a rampage, killing innocent people. They were wondering why someone seemingly normal would join a group that did such terrible things and it got me thinking...

What if it's about how we fill that glass?

I once knew a person who had belonged to a cult. What struck me today was not how a cult holds onto a person with various forms of brain-washing, but why someone is drawn to a cult in the first place. People naturally want and need their glass to be filled. By "filled" I don't mean the obvious things like money, love, fame and success. Those things are important, but what we all hunger most desperately for is PURPOSE.

Such a bland word, but without a sense of purpose we are nothing. It is more important than money or power or fame. I was about to add "or love" when I realised that purpose IS about love. Having a sense of purpose gives us self-respect, which is vitally important and strongly connected to self love.

Some people find their purpose in a career or a creative art form; many find it in religion. But it all boils down to the same thing... that worst emptiness in our glass of life is a lack of love. That emptiness might be that we were never loved as children or never taught how to love ourselves. We might be empty due to mental or even physical illness. Or perhaps we became empty when life broke us in some manner; through abuse, neglect, poverty or war. 

An empty person searching to be filled is the dream target of every group, because he/she will do anything and try anything to fill that emptiness. Empty people are willing to spend more money. And empty people aren't only more willing to buy fake products they don't actually need... they're also more open to buying into fake news, fake political agendas and fake religions.

And once they're filled with poison and lies, they are completely ready to buy into being told that their emptiness was due to THIS group or THAT group taking what was rightfully theirs. So easy  to create a scapegoat that the cult member is willing to kill.... so easy to change the word "cult" for any other type of hate group.

The only way I can see of stopping that is by teaching every child and person how to love themselves. Sounds trite, but you're not likely to be brain-washed if you trust your own judgement and you're not likely to turn on others in mindless rage if you are completely happy in your own skin.

Time to fill the glasses...


  1. It was like you read my mind! I was just thinking about this, purpose. Another great post!Fits right along with my thoughts.

  2. Thanks Kim. Our conversations over that pesky glass have inspired me many times over the years.


  3. Me too! I'm thinking it might be time for a new pesky glass. ;)



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