Monday, October 3, 2011

Preconceived Ideas.

    Here is a view looking west from my neighborhood.  Living so close to the Stansbury Range is quite a blessing in several ways.  It is also a good study on life is many ways.  In the valley where I live it is very much a desert.  There are numerous springs in the area, originally they called the town 21 Springs before renaming it after a religious leader from the town.  Even though there are springs, it's a desert.  The fields, natural or man's work are oftentimes golden brown and tan by late spring.  Late in summer everyone has to be careful with fireworks on July 4th and such to avoid fires.  Yet, when you head into the mountains you start to enter into a whole new world.  Dense forests of Quaking Aspens and Lodge Pole Pinion Pines that have been there for hundreds of years!  There are lakes and fish and greenery of all sorts to see.  Yet to look at them as you are in the picture above just like you would from the valley, you can't see the diversity, variety of life and beauty that so prevalent.

   People and most things in life are very much like that as well.  It has amazed me how often I get to know someone and what you find in riches of personality, knowledge and perspectives is so much more that the 3 mile perspective (as in the photo above) would ever suggest.

  When we see with our ears, listen with our hearts and ignore the judgement of our eyes, people begin to become marvelous worlds of their own.  When we behave or treat someone as if we already know them, then we are saying that we can define them with our thoughts and preconceptions.  I have met people who have been married and sat at the same table together for years and haven't really "met" each other for a long, long time.  They are "meeting" who they think their partner is and only that. Then one day, one of them says "You don't know me anymore." or "Your just aren't the same person I married.". Well, duh!

   I do not mean to seem rude, you and I change and evolve everyday.  With every decision and encounter, we adapt and make adjustments to our perception based an evolving view of the world around us.  Our view of the world (perspective or  perception) is an aggregate of our experiences and thoughts.

   Would you want to be defined by the observations of someone else?  What if after a while you could only be what they thought you were at a certain time without any changes? Just as arrogant as it sounds, we do it to others.  The wisest among us, somehow detach themselves from this and seemingly always accept us as we are at the moment.  Is it easy? No, I'm sure.  Just like everything else, it's a habit that must be learn.  The habit of an open mind.

  It's the Golden Rule all over again.  If you want to be who you are then, accept those around you exactly as they are.

  Clearing the lenses that we see with (our perspective) of judgement, prejudice and labels may not be easy, it is however, very liberating.  By giving the others freedom to simply be, you free yourself of having to be who they think you are.  Sounds like a pretty good trade to me!

   I know, it sounds like I am over simplifying things.  Maybe, maybe not.  Try it out and let me know if it isn't so.

   May you find "new" friends among those you know today.  May you find new freedom within your own life to be you.

Billy B.

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