Luke Buehler: In famous 'glass' question, life's meaning becomes clear

People ask me all the time, how do you look at life? I was never quite sure what to tell them, up until now.

I was asked the famous question, "Do you see the glass half full or half empty?" I thought about it for a long while and finally came to a conclusion. I say, "Put a cap on the glass and tell me what you see."

I see each side of it. It made me think of what life is really. If I cannot see the negatives, how am I to enjoy the positives as well? And who said it was half and half for everyone? But I'll also pose the question; do you appreciate each of the sides in the glass? If I don't do this, how will I appreciate the life after this?

When Jesus gave thanks for the cup of life, was it completely full or not? Clearly we won't know, but I'd like to think it was only half-filled. Since He experienced death, He was able to have life again.

This is how I'd like to think I want to see myself in the world, because I live by a small but powerful motto: I intend to make the world a better place. Out of many billions of people that have and will walk the earth now and in the future, I am only one of them, but that doesn't mean I won't be seen.


When I graduate from high school, I plan to attend college, hopefully at Winona State University. After that, I want to come back to my school district and teach. It's my life goal to teach our people of tomorrow the ways in which the world works — in other words, history.

We are who we have come from, and to where we will go, no one will know. This is why I love history so much, because it describes the patterns of the human race in different eras and even now it still repeats itself. It is as though life itself is merely lived by those who know how to live it. Those who tolerate it end up wasting it on lifeless objects and events.

This is why I try to do my best everyday in making this world better minute by minute. The sands of time in my life will eventually slip away up until the end. I know it is God's will for me to live it to better the lives of others.

When others drink from the glass of life, some sip it as though it were the sweetest honey. Others drink it, but only taste vinegar. When I drink it, I taste something similar to church wine. The sweetness of the grape, but the sourness of the alcohol combine and form a sap of crisp, bittersweet liquid. (For those who wonder, I have not drunk underage, and do not plan on it. I understand that this kind of habit is lifeless and has no meaning to me — until I am 21, that is.)

I intend to make the world a better place. By realizing my glass contains a liquid only I can taste, I want to know the taste through and through. That is why I plan on living my life to the fullest and being the best I can be in every place God has laid out for me.

So, ask yourself — how do you see the glass of your life?

Luke Buehler is a junior at Kasson-Mantorville High School. To respond to an opinion column, send an email to

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