by Kahlil Gibran
Said the Eye one day, “I see beyond these valleys a mountain veiled with blue mist. Is it not beautiful?”
The Ear listened, and after listening intently awhile, said, “But where is any mountain? I do not hear it.”
Then the Hand spoke and said, “I am trying in vain to feel it or touch it, and I can find no mountain.”
And the Nose said, “There is no mountain, I cannot smell it.”
Then the Eye turned the other way, and they all began to talk together about the Eye’s strange delusion. And they said, “Something must be the matter with the Eye.”
Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
To change one’s life is not to change outer circumstances: it is to change one’s reactions.
How I respond to life’s circumstances creates the life I live. I think of something as simple as listening to someone say something I do not like. My immediate reactions are anger, defensiveness, counter attack, or retreat into my silent kingdom where only I am allowed entrance. Sound familiar?
There is a different way. I can choose to enter into constructive dialogue.
I can choose to seek to understand the other.
I can choose to listen and to respond in a way that furthers the relationship.
Have you found yourself in situations where you chose to set aside your initial ‘gut reaction’ and respond constructively? What was happening? Did it help to forge a more deeper dialogue?
One common mistake is to think that one reality is the reality. You must always be prepared to leave one reality for a greater one.
I spent much of my professional life as qualitative researcher. My students and collected stories and tried to make sense out of the collective stories to assist those we worked with to recognize the legitmacy of a different reality.
I’ve fallen many times into the trap of believing my way of seeing was the only way of seeing. Seldom did this kind of thinking produce any benificial results for me or anyone else.
Growth for me occurred when I recognized each of us has a limited view of reality. We need each other to piece our views of reality together to create a beautiful mosaic of differing perspectives.
Have you experienced an aha moment when you understood your view of reality was microcosmic?
Was it humbling? Did it inspire you to learn more about other viewpoints?
Running water never grows stale.
“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”
When I read this quote by Paulo Coelho, I thought the famous auther must be reading my emails. I work hard, focus, and nothing happens. I get close, but it seems what I want is always just out of reach. All of sudden, I’m juggling so many balls, I don’t dare look away.
My experience teaches me life is unpredictable. Life isn’t fair. It’s the only life I have, so shake it off, accept what is and keep moving.
What is your experience? Is it similar to mine? How do you deal with life’s way of testing you?