Seeing the Good in it


I was with friends last night, and we heard a strange popping sound in the kitchen. We looked up, wondered, then continued talking. Another popping sound had us suggesting that the ice maker might be dropping ice cubes on the ground. But when two more quick pops occured our host headed to the kitchen and looked around.

There in the freezer were the shattered remains of Perrier water bottles, placed there for rapid cooling by our thoughtful, if not time-conscious, host.

As we gathered around the fridge to marvel at the sheer number of shards, I remarked: "The green glass will make it easier to find." My friend laughed and said to me: "Rob, leave it to you to find something good about broken glass."

It's a classic case of the glass half empty, half full, or completely shattered. The shattered glass was no longer a bottle, and if considered as a bottle the green shards were useless and dangerous. But in their new identity as shards amidst the frozen carrots their glass was definitely half full – I would much rather pluck green glass from a freezer than colorless, ice-like slivers.

And since there were seven of us together that evening we had efficiently gained some sharp insights into the dangers of rapidly chilling water in glass bottles.


Not every problem has a solution that's as straightforward as cleaning up glass, but many problems can be seen from different perspectives, which bring the scope of the problem into focus, clarify the new situation, and diffuse tension. They also remind us of shared goals, the benefits of teamwork, the joys of friendship, and the good things we often take for granted.

And as with all problem solving, the attitude of those involved can make or break the emotional severity of the situation, which directly effects the safety, thoughtfulness and success of the solutions. It's good to have a calm mind and cool (not frozen) friends in a crisis.

When it comes to trouble, here's to seeing the good in it.

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