Have you ever noticed that everything in life is a matter of perspective and eventually judgment? Imagine you arrive late to your office, complaining because your car broke down, only to find the person in the next cubicle had their car repossessed the previous day. It kind of makes your repair look minor because of perspective. You no longer judge your luck to be “bad”.
Recently I was talking with a girlfriend who shared that she’d been raised on a farm in Ohio. Her parents were poor so her mother made homemade bread each day. Not wanting to be different, she’d trade her whole wheat sandwich for one made with white bread, because she thought that white was better, because that’s what all the other kids had! Or my friend who grew up as a poor child in Price Edward Island, Canada, who was forced to eat lobster sandwiches each day because his parents couldn’t afford to buy processed lunch meat. He too thought he was deprived, because of his perspective and judgment of the situation. Not surprisingly, his perspective has changed dramatically since his childhood so much so that he now thinks lobster everyday would be a blessing.
Just a few days ago I was interviewing an Inspirational Luminary who asked me if I’ve ever been to Chicago in October. I remember telling him that I love Chicago in the fall and shared how beautiful it was on my last trip, with the crisp breezes, only to have him tell me that I was crazy! He was from Florida and thought Chicago in the autumn was simply unbearable, let alone in the winter! Being from Colorado, I thought it was invigorating and beautiful. Again, it’s nothing more than a different perspective and from that place, a different judgment.
Each day we wake up and don our perspective glasses- whether intentional or not. Each thing we look at or experience goes into our perspective filter and we judge it to be good, bad or remain indifferent. Imagine just for a moment that we could look at things and observe “what is” without any judgment. We read a blog and see it as just a blog- not a good one or a bad one- but just a blog. We get a flat tire and it’s just a flat tire, not the world out to get us. We appreciate life for what it is- without running it through our perspective filters or tainting it with judgment. How different would the world look to you right now if you looked at your life experiences in this way? What are you judging in this very moment rather than just experiencing it for what it is?
Without perspective and judgment there would be no right or wrong, no mistakes, no reason for regret. Life would just BE and could be seen simply for just what it is. I’d like to share one of my favorite stories with you. I invite you to read this and see how you can integrate this information into your life today. If nothing else, I’m guessing it will make you think, as it always does for me. Enjoy!
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There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“We’ll see,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses.
“How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“We’ll see,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“We’ll see,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“We’ll see,” said the farmer.
This Post Has 3 Comments
Gail this is a wonderful idea! What if we just didn’t have judgements attached to everything we experience. Indeed, a flat tire is just a flat tire…not the world ganginig up on us, not an intrusion on our perfect ride to work, not a punishment for some vague sense of wrong-doing. Just a flat tire. How great would that be! We see it for exactly what it is, do what we’ve got to do (as Anne pointed out in her inspiring story today) and move on.
Forgiveness is something I’m passionate about. There would be so much less to forgive, practically nothing at all if a person lived their life without judgement and specific perspectives. If we could see other people’s transgressions as their stuff and not ours, their hurts and pains manifesting externally and NOT a personal attack, we would spend lfar ess time in worry and anxiety and a whole lot more time in peace and light. We would have a lot less to forgive. and we would actually be able to help more people, instead of adding to the negative energy of hte universe.
Thank you for this piece of sharing from your heart – and for InspireMeToday…what an awesome site!
Thank you Julette for sharing your kind words. I too would welcome a world where we would all let go of perspective and judgment. And then I remember that changing the world starts with changing ME, and therein lies the challenge that I believe we all face. So, here’s to working together to find a way to create more peace not only in the world, but in our own worlds too. Maybe if we can be loving and gentle reminders to one another, that’s a place to start.
Hi Gail I liked your article. I was thinking about what you wrote and I think that maybe another way to let go of your perspective is to expand your perspective. Said another way, by expanding your perspective to include others you let go of the perspective that focuses solely on yourself. One way you can put this into practice is what the Buddhists call Tonglin. The idea behind Tonglin is that you meditate/visualize on a person who is much worse off than you are – maybe someone you know or someone you’ve read about. As you meditate you take on that person’s suffering with the goal of trying to vividly put yourself in their shoes. The practice is intended to build compassion and drive home the point that suffering and compassion are inextricably linked. My interpretation is a slight twist on what you said but I think it might be another useful way to interpret your article.