View problematic situations as glass half-full scenarios


    Opinion writers can’t help but step on people’s toes sometimes – crushing readers with strong views. For example, in my last article, I’d imagine I left a few mama’s boys and daddy’s girls longing to sit down for a home-cooked meal with their families. And I’m sure I annoyed students who haven’t been home since the semester began with my ingratitude for seeing my family and the comfort of my own bed on a daily basis.

    When I started writing for the Skiff, I spent a great deal of time trying to brainstorm the topic of my first article. Naturally, I sought the help of my friends for suggestions. The most common advice: “Complain about something. You’ll have the most to say.”

    That’s where the idea for this article developed.

    But here’s the truth: the article wasn’t meant to fool you. I used my personal experience of commuting to create a satire about how our natural instincts move us to complain and recognize the negative before the positive.

    It seems we’re quick to complain about everything around us. We even seem to use negativity as a bonding tool or a conversation starter with an acquaintance.

    Before I elaborate, let me refute my previous statements so I don’t continue sounding like a cold-hearted ingrate.

    Granted, I don’t like to wake up early every morning, but I do love to see the sunrise. It’s a welcome distraction from the repetitive sight of brake lights.

    I couldn’t survive without listening to music during the time it takes to get from point A to point B – not to mention, singing every song at the top of my lungs regardless of the looks I get from other drivers.

    There was only one thing I said last week that was the truth – evening traffic doesn’t deserve comment as it’s the biggest pain to drivers who frequent the highways.

    Griping about family-food time, however, was a complete fabrication. It has to be the greatest part of the day when I can sit down to a meal that doesn’t come out of a stamped, white paper bag with an oversized purple water bottle from The Main.

    The central advantage to living at home is seeing your family on a regular basis. Before college, I felt fortunate to have my whole family at almost every meal. But now, more than ever, I’m grateful for the time together. Even if we don’t have many stories to tell at the table, there are few things more valuable than spending time with people you love.

    This philosophy can be applied to many things, not just dinner or family. In making an effort to see the glass half-full, I think we’d find more instances of happiness and simple joys around the corner than we ever imagined.

    Anahita Kalianivala is a freshman English and psychology major from Fort Worth. Her column appears every Wednesday.