Posts Tagged ‘deficit perspective’

If in theory you think you’re either an optimistic or a pessimistic, I’m going to have to challenge you on that. Correction: I’m going to have to challenge myself on that one. You know that saying about how depending on whether you see the glass half empty or the glass half full you are either an optimist or a pessimist? I have to thank the ever so witty and funny Demitri Martin for challenging that notion and saying the following:

 You know how they say people that say the glass is half full are optimists, and people that say the glass is half empty are pessimists? They don’t really specify what the glass is full of. What if its a half a glass of sh’t? As an optimist I would like to see it has half empty. Baby blood is even more confusing, cause is this blood going  to a baby, or coming  from  a baby? Cause if it’s coming from a baby, I’m gonna say “All right, come down, it’s a half-empty glass of baby blood, no big deal. Don’t ask me how I got it, just listen to what I’m saying…”” Demetri Martin

 What does this have to do with my Ally experience? Content,context,and patience. It has been very easy to me in my personal life to always focus on the negative. My “short fuse” makes me jump to conclusions and be impatient about the things that aren’t going as I planned.  I joke and say I’m an optimistic pessimist but I have realized the following: 1) at some point I’m going to be neither, or just one of those. And 2) why am I so focused on binary thinking again?

 So here I am juggling these big words like “binary, deficit perspective” (and my favorite one, although not so much “a big word”) “Its all in your head” (Credits: PA Coach). If this is all in my head and I’m freaking out for no reason- I just lost sight of content, context, and the need to be patient. Insert the identification of the fact that I have a deficit perspective and that more than likely it’s my default. So the ideal answer is to be vocal about what is not so negative and about my needs in the context of serving my purpose. When we loose sight of an end goal or objective (for Public Allies that would be serving our community) it’s very easy to begin focusing on “every little reason why my life sucks”, and that’s just shitty in general.

It’s been a painful process (aren’t they all at this point?)  a challenging one (that’s why I’m in the program, right?) but also an enriching one ( Pessimism:2 Optimism:1…almost!). The best part is that I’m developing a support group that has caught my deficit perspective. Sometimes something as simple as “Let’s look at the bright side” shatters my tunneling deficit vision. I guess I could give this a try.  I’m working on it.

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