A Difference In Perspective

A Difference In Perspective

By Kathy Koches


perspectiveRemember the Monty Python song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life?” I love that song. It always makes me laugh, but it also expresses my philosophy. Some of you know that my friends call me the “FBBOH” (the “freakin’ blue bird of happiness.”) But I’m all right with that – in fact I kind of like it.

I recently got into a discussion, OK argument, with a long time friend of mine. She said I do not look at life realistically, that I “bury my head in the sand” and look at the world through “rose colored glasses.” This really ticked me off! I think that she is always negative and looks for the worst in every possible situation, and says her cup is half-empty. I call her “Eeyore” after the donkey in “Winnie the Pooh” who always says, “Oh dear, oh my!” In fact when she is in one of her “black periods” even my children used to say, “Mom, quit hanging out with her; you are starting to pick up her negativity.”

What different perspectives we have of each other! She believes that she is not negative, pessimistic, or selfish but says that she is a “stark realist” and thinks I am a fool to look at life the way I do.  

I explained to her, as I have done many times before, that I choose to be optimistic, to look at the bright side, to be positive, rather than negative, and that my cup is more than half full. It is a choice, and it is the choice I consciously make. I know that life has its travails; believe me I did learn that at an early age and did not appreciate her comment that I have not dealt with my parents’ death completely nor the abuse I suffered at the hands of my ex-husband. I have dealt with it – it was horrible, but I moved on.  I choose to be as happy as I can be, not to let the past ruin my present or future. 

So, the debate continues, as it has for the forty plus years that I have known this woman. I don’t think we will ever truly resolve it, nor change each other’s mind or perspective. How can we remain friends, with this vast difference in the way we view life? I’m not really sure. Sometimes we go for long periods of time with little or no contact. But then one of us reaches out to the other and we reconnect. We have shared a lot over the years, both good and bad and we know we can count on each other. Besides, we have to remain friends forever; she knows where all the bodies are buried…but so do I.



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