Thursday; August 10
As I sat in my office looking outside at the rain I noticed that when the warm moist air from the outside came in contact with the dry air-conditioned environment inside it fogged up the windows. I have seen this phenomenon often, but this time it reminded me of a life lesson. Sitting in the office my view of the world was obscured by my environment and I had trouble seeing what was really going on outside because I was nice and comfortable inside. The lesson was this, when we look into the world, what do we see? While it is impossible to completely ignore our own perspective, it is important to understand that not everyone experiences life in the same way we do. We might be able to enjoy a carefree excitement about what the future holds for us, but people who struggle with depression find it hard (if not impossible) to experience the same joy. Those of us who are financially stable may downplay the potential impact of an economic policy, but those who are struggling to make ends meet might take it very seriously. People who are part of an affluent or influential social stratus might not understand the dissatisfaction or fear that others might experience. As the old saying goes, “Perspective is everything”.
There is a verse in the Old Testament that is commonly translated, “He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9) but, there is a footnote that provides an alternative reading for “is generous” – it can also be translated, “has a good eye”. In a sense another way to interpret this passage might be, “He who has a good eye will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.”. Socially adept and spiritually attuned people have the ability to envision things through the eyes of empathy and understanding. They realize their view might be obscured by their own personality, so they seek to understand through another’s perspective.
How are we looking at the world? Could we do more good by defogging our perspective?
Think about it!