December 14

Today's quotation:

All people have stars. . . but they are not the same things for different people.  For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides.  For others, they are no more than little lights in the sky.  For others, who are scholars, they are problems. . . . But all these stars are silent.  You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Today's Meditation:

How do you see the world?  I'd bet that no matter how similar we are in general, you and I see the world in many different ways.  We may agree on some things, but other things just aren't things that we talk about, like how we feel when we gaze at stars, or they're completely different for you and me.  I like movies that you don't like, and vice versa; the songs I like to listen to are different than those on your playlists.  One of the beauties of life is that each of us experiences our bodies and this planet in completely unique ways, and that's wonderful.

I try to respect other people's ways of seeing things.  Sometimes I even try to understand them, and I ask why they like this movie that I can't stand, or why they see a picture, one that I see as ugly, as beautiful.  I know that my way of seeing the clouds in the sky isn't the same as someone else's, nor should it be, and it fascinates me to hear how other people view the world.

I think it would be nice if we stopped putting our expectations on others, if we stopped expecting them to see things the way we see things.  I don't care if you don't find that building to be as beautiful or as hideous as I see it, for I know that our differences are all part of the plan of life, that our diversity is one of the most important elements of all life on this planet.  When you look at something and tell me it's blue, then blue it is to you, even if I see it as green.  That's perfectly okay--I don't need to try to make you see it my way.

We see very few things in life, when all is said and done.  But what a joy it is to go through life trying to see and understand more and more each day.  And it's also a joy to learn from others who see things differently than we do, for they have much to teach us about perspective.  It keeps me humble to keep in mind that the way I see things is definitely not a universal way, and that humility is something that I want to carry with me all my days.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so important to us that others see things in the same ways that we do?

What kinds of things may be out there that lie beyond our powers to perceive them?

How do you see the stars?  What are they to you?  Why?
For further thought:

It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.

C.W. Leadbeater

more on perspective



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