October 13

The knowledge that another has felt
as we have felt, and seen things not
much otherwise than we have seen
them, will continue to the end to be
one of life's choicest blessings.

Robert Louis Stevenson


Today's Meditation:

Robert's right here, of course--it is a wonderful feeling when someone sees things the way we do.  But why?  Shouldn't it also be a wonderful feeling when someone sees things completely differently than we do, when we have clear evidence of the amazing diversity of people's perspectives and opinions?

Whatever the case, there really are few things that are comparable to shared feelings and shared perspectives.  When I find myself agreeing completely with another person about something, I feel a bond with that person, and the unity that so strongly defines the human being is much more real to me, much more clear and focused.  I feel more a part of life in general, and I feel a sense of understanding and shared reality for which there really is no substitute.

I know that one of my goals in life shall be to work away from needing to know that someone else feels as I do if I want to feel that good, that close to unity and togetherness.  I should be able to access that feeling at any time, simply because we all breathe the same air and share the same planet.  Life's choicest blessings are all about us, all the time, yet sometimes we just don't open ourselves up to that fact enough to enjoy them.

Whatever the case, though, and whatever the truth of the matter, Robert's statement is true--it is a great blessing when someone else agrees with us and shares our feelings and perspective--and it always shall be a blessing.  Let's make sure that it's a blessing that we appreciate when it comes along so that we can be doubly blessed--by the blessing itself and by our appreciation of it.

Questions to consider:

How often do other people feel the same ways that we feel about certain things?  How does it feel when someone does share our feelings?

Why do we tend to appreciate agreement from others more than we appreciate divergent opinions?

What can we do to help ourselves to understand other people's perspectives and ideas more?

For further thought:

We cannot live only for ourselves.
A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow humans.

Herman Melville


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