Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On Perspective, Context, and Expectations

I'm all over the place today, and feeling way too serious for my taste. But life will do that to you sometimes.

I have a few things on my mind that I'd like to unload. I want to touch on perception vs. reality, negativity, fear of change, and letting go.

This will not be like my usual, light-hearted subject matter.

Here's the deal:

Life, reality, the 'truth,' or however you choose to describe it is not always as it seems. In fact, more often than not, we only see, know about, or understand one aspect of a story. But life is not always black-and-white.

Take for example this hypothetical situation:

One parent suddenly 'kidnaps' their 12 year-old girl, leaving no clues as to why they left so abruptly and mysteriously. The other parent appears to be heart-broken, hysterically worried about their daughter, and is visibly shaken. They reach out to their friends, family, and neighbors for support--and everyone is outraged that someone would do such a thing to a child, and to their own family.

On top of that, kidnapping is against the law, too. Breaking the law is rightfully considered a bad thing, and the friends, family, and neighbors are demanding that something be done--that the parent which kidnapped the child should be found and dealt with harshly.

Imagine experiencing this story for a moment, from this perspective only.

Now, consider this: imagine that the daughter was being forced into child-prostitution by the father, that she was beaten daily, and was only fed one small meal per day. Imagine the mother feeling hopelessly trapped, terrified of what might happen to her if she didn't remain quiet about it, playing along with the facade of a normal family.

One day, the mother decides to bide her time until the right moment to take her daughter and run away to start a new life, away from her cruel husband.

This is not a true story, but could very well be one in any part of the world.

There are people everywhere who make judgments and come to conclusions about reality based only on the information they have; but the information they have may not provide a full perspective of what has really happened, and in particular, why it happened.

Perspective and context matters. Sometimes, breaking the law or 'doing the wrong thing,' is the right thing to do.

This is what I'm referring to when I say that life, reality, or truth is not always what it seems.

So, beware of those who believe they have all the answers, because typically, all they really have is a one-dimensional perspective and limited understanding of the world. I've found this to be the case, much to their denial more often than not.

I'm sure you know someone like this. Maybe you're one of them, who knows! But this is not so much a condemnation of anyone, as much as it's a moment to touch on some of my recent frustrations without getting into too much detail.

From time to time, I encounter very closed-minded people; and usually their contributions to our discussions are merely manifestations of their own personal judgments and labels, which are by-products of their blind acceptance of some closed-minded, derivative drivel that their chosen ideology instructs them to believe and repeat; but this mindless repetition reveals a superficial intelligence of fools--the ying to the yang that is genuine wisdom, perhaps.

If your mind's eye is aware enough, however, I think your attention will be called to it like a powerful magnet, much like a rose's sharp, sabre-like thorn immediately commands your attention after it has pierced the unexpecting skin of your hand.

On a slightly different note, I'd like to say that despite falling into the trap of negative thoughts myself on occasion, I hope everyone who reads this is able to shun negativity like the Plague.

There is no more destructive force in the universe than negativity. The exception to this, of course, being things like natural disasters, nuclear bombs, and meteors the size of Texas.

Ok, so I may be overstating this and finally found a morsel of humor to inject into this post.

Still, I really mean it.

Applying this maxim (shutting out negativity) to your life will be of more use to you than you may even realize. I am in the midst of trying to embody this, and I can feel myself getting healthier from the inside out every day that I am focused on this growth, this way of being, this expanding of my personal horizons.

Now that I have all that off my chest, I must say it's been a very trying few weeks.

More because of my own mental growing pains than anything else. To sum it up, I'll use Deepak Chopra's words:

"Before the seeing comes the feeling that there is more to life than what you are living. It's like a faint voice that whispers, 'Find me.'"

I hear these whispers, but despite my desperate urge to find it, I'm paralyzed by fear. This fear, of course, is simply a resistance to letting go. Letting go is a difficulty many people have, and I'm no exception.

My goal is to continue on the path to letting go of: expectation and the dissapointments it often creates, as well as the futile exercise of holding on that sometimes comes with it. Instead, I'm trying to get better at being at ease with simply accepting whatever twists and turns life decides to take me on.

Resisting this is a roadblock to peace of mind; and it applies to everything in life, not just things I fear change in.

That's how I feel about it anyway. I just thought I'd change things up a bit and share that.

As Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that, for the moment anyway.

Now, back to more positive things.

I have a trip to Mississippi this weekend for my cousin's wedding. It's being held at Harrah's Tunica Hotel and Casino, about 20 minutes from the Memphis International Airport. I really look forward to getting away and feasting my eyes on some different scenery.

Sometimes, a change of scenery goes a long way to making the heart a little lighter.

Aside from that, I'm still working on the itinerary for my NYC trip next month. I may just post it here to give others some ideas on what to do on a visit to NYC.

If I had to describe it in one word as a preview: EPIC.


  1. I could not agree more on the letting go-part. Maybe because we as human beings are control freaks to the core? It's not that easy to listen to The Beatles and sing along to "let it be" whilst knowing the only "letting-be" that's going to happen is your twisted, controlled version of it.

    Seems like it's the month of the wedding as I also have to attend one (only in September, but still!) and have read a few posts on the excuse for controlling ... eh ... sorry, lovely institution called marriage ;)

  2. Thanks for the note. You're right, it's easier said or planned than done! I actually had to go back and edit this post to provide more context. I found it lacking some important details, as it was a bit cryptic in parts. Hopefully, it explains what I'm trying to say a bit better. This is what happens when you write in heat of the moment instead of ging back to edit before hitting enter!