"A pessimist, they say, sees a glass of water as being half empty; an optimist sees the same glass as half full. But a giving person sees a glass of water and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty." - G. Donald Gale
"Half full." - The saying on the front of one my shirts with a half glass of water on it
"Cool...a cup that can hold water when we find some." - The saying that comes to the mind of an optimist when the glass is empty
On a scale of one to ten...one being worthless (even damaging) and ten being useful (even life-giving)...
If "optimism" is the denial of reality for the sake of avoiding pain: 
If "optimism" is the acknowledgment that there is good and usefulness in everything: 
If "idealism" is the imagining of how it "should be" in order to accuse the world and excuse oneself from having it: 
If "idealism" is the imagining of how it "should be" in order to be inspired to conform oneself to it: 
If "giving" is done out of guilty obligation, legalistic righteousness, or to feel better about oneself: 
If "giving" is done out of the discovery that sacrificial love is the best, most rewarding possible life available to a human being: 
If "judgment" is the determination of what is right and wrong in people's lives and behavior .
If "judgment" is the determination of how to best love other people most profoundly despite what is right and wrong in their lives and behavior .
If "critical thinking" is primarily used to "point out what is wrong". 
If "critical thinking" is used to determine "what I need to be". 
If "unconditional acceptance" is the decision to not care how anyone else lives for the sake of being okay with them .
If "unconditional acceptance" is the caring so much that I can attach to anyone because of my realizing I have nothing personally at stake because of how anyone else lives .
If "giving everyone the dignity to choose" means "do it my way or your free to leave." 
If "giving everyone the dignity to choose" means "I'm striving to living life at ever-increasing levels of truth and love, and I'd love for you to join me, but no pressure." 
If "telling the truth" is the blunt, careless, and uncensored speaking of my mind. 
If "telling the truth" is the loving exposure of the introspective searching of my heart for the purpose of being a loving mirror for a friend or to engage in the humble, confessional healing of my own heart. 
If "spreading the word" is the academic teaching that certain religious practices, outward sacraments, and accurate doctrinal beliefs are the means of getting to heaven. 
If "spreading the word" is the sharing of Jesus Christ's message, Jesus Christ's heart, Jesus Christ's mission, Jesus Christ's priorities, Jesus Christ's character, and Jesus Christ's life that can be enjoyed here and lasts on into eternity. 
If "grace" doesn't include "truth", it's not really grace. [so...1]
If "truth" doesn't include "grace", it's not really truth. [so...1]
If the balance of grace and truth is trying to do 50 percent of each in every relationship. 
If the balance of grace and truth is figuring out how to be 100 percent of both. 
If "seeking to understand another" is the listening to others and applying your own definition of terms to what they are saying in order to hold them accountable for "what they said." 
If "seeking to understand another" is the holistic hearing of another person's heart regardless of the words they use and definitions they attach to it in order to "be with them right where they are at". 
And if "writing these emails" is the arrogant attempt to convince everyone that I am right about something. 
But if "writing these emails" is the humble attempt at putting words to the ideas and thoughts I am having, right on the front edge of my discovering or considering them, in an effort to give myself to people and receive from them their input, challenges, and affirmations as I seek to live life at ever-increasing levels of truth. 
I love you all.