One of the Divine
Treats in this world is that we are not obligated to have the
"right" view. Instead, the truly delicious part about
being here is that over the course of a lifetime we are privileged
to have access to a multitude of perspectives and angles from
which to view this world.
I went back and
added "access to" in the last sentence. Even as I typed
it I realized that while we have the privilege to see this world
from many different angles, not everyone does. We have access to
different views. It is up to us take advantage of that privilege.
It is up to us to switch from the microscope to the telescope to
the binoculars to the reading lenses. It is up to us to climb the
mountains, slide down the valleys, swim the channels and burrow
under it all.
And all of this
takes time. At 20 we might think we have seen and heard it all.
Certainly by 50 there's not much left to see that would expand our
vision, much less our mind, is there? Look again. Last week I was
talking with a physician, still practicing, hale and hearty, in
his mid-70's, who mentioned that he had just recently examined one
of this patients. He was surprised to discover the young man had
both nipples pierced AND a stud piercing through his tongue.
doctor is still out there traveling the world, teaching, doing his
thing. . . and I'm helping him learn his computer, too.
He's not wasting
time figuring what's wrong with the world (as if his vision had
become distorted with age while the world he knew should have
remained static). Instead, he's keeping his vision clear and eager
to see what else is yet to come (he doesn't even need glasses to
drive!). I tease him a lot, in a friendly way, but truly he's the
kind of man I would aspire to be when I'm that age.
I think this is what
Muhammad Ali was getting at -- don't put blinders on when you
reach 20, or 30, or even 50. Instead, allow your vision to be seen
through a wide-angle lens to capture as much as you can. What
matters most, of course, will always matter, but when seen through
the wider view of maturity, the petty details we focus on in youth
are truly so inconsequential.
Copyright by Ray S. Whiting.