Are you Lt. Dan or Forrest Gump?

There are two different kind of folks in this crazy world; those who are optimists and those who are pessimists. You know, those who see the glass half full and those who see it half empty.

We see this exemplified in the two different characters of Lt. Dan and Forrest Gump. Lt. Dan is one of those people who went through one tragedy after another. There’s a scene in the movie I’ll never forget when he is in the shrimp boat out on the water during a storm and he shakes his fist at God and yells, “Is that all you got?” He is in what I call that “victim” mentality – woe is me state. He was angry at all that he had been through and here he was left to live life with no legs, wishing he had died. It takes a series of events but he eventually finds his way out of the funk.

On the other hand we see Forrest Gump – the proverbial optimist who always sees the good in and through everything and in everyone. Don’t you just love these people? I love being around them. They always see the upside of things even when faced with tragedy. They just seem to bounce right back and somehow learn some kind of lesson that makes them all the better for having gone through it.

Now put these two together in one household and you definitely have fireworks (or at least occasionally see sparks fly). Learning to adjust and accept are in my opinion two conscious decisions one can make when dealing with a pessimist (aka – chronic complainer, Debbie Downer, Negative Nancy). These living conditions suck for the pessimist who is always trying to get attention through their demise.

However, it works toward the good of the optimist – it’s another hurdle to jump, another challenge waiting, and another opportunity to learn patience through suffering.

What character are you portraying in this drama?

Let’s face it; Life is messy. Stuff happens. I am of the belief life is way too short to be thinking God or someone else has it in for you.

Here’s a little advice from Optimist #5 to help you become an optimist : (WARNING: Watch at your own risk)

(Okay, that was gay! …….now I have to go get rid of all my black skull T-shirts)

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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2 Responses to Are you Lt. Dan or Forrest Gump?

  1. Opti Mistic says:

    Hi Susan, please forgive me, but the “glass half full or half empty” paradigm is a bit limited…how about a third option, ” My cup runneth over” :)>


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