How a small shift in perspective….

….Can have a big impact on your life

Surrounded by suffering and tragedy as an aid worker in the late 1990’s, I would often get overwhelmed with the apparent futility and desperation of it all.

Weaver birds in Kabale, Uganda

Weaver birds in Kabale, Uganda

But during one late night, relaxing with other aid workers getting ‘philosophical’, a good friend commented that to keep sane and to make sense of it all, he would look at something small, really closely.

When was the last time that you really, really, really examined a leaf, a spiders web, a strawberry or the nest that a weaver bird makes, he asked me?

This ‘revelation’ completely changed the way that I looked at things. As a ‘grown up’ I had stopped noticing familiar things and I failed to appreciate the natural perfection and beauty that surrounds us all. Ask William, my boy, he finds interest in everything (see [intlink id=”849″ type=”post”]who tells children that flowers are weeds?[/intlink])

This realisation that there is a great deal of perfection and beauty in the world helped me put things into perspective. It also enables me to deal with those things that are far from perfect and people who have forgotten everything but their own despair.

Looking for the perfection that does exist in the things that surround us, keeps me going. Especially in the face of the apparent indifference or ignorance of the suffering endured by half the people on the planet, that would otherwise fill me with despair. It teaches me that actually there is some order in the world, amidst all the chaos, if only you make the time to look for it.

Sorry if I that is too ‘flowery’ for you!! You should try it though (go and grab a tomato!), incredible isn’t it? The wonder of something that has grown, compared  to something that has been manufactured, makes a refreshing change in our overly technical world.

Stay well

About Ian

Handyman, humanitarian, inventor, blogger and finally a house husband looking after Cecilia, Julia, William near Hvalstrand in Asker, Norway.

This entry was posted in inspiration, life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How a small shift in perspective….

  1. Ian says:

    Hadn’t thought of that Helena! I am really into the whole enjoying the stuff that surrounds us in abundance at the moment, with super curious kids under 7 it’s not difficult! Especially as our recent move half way across the world leaves little money for going ‘out’ all the time. Although I took the kids to an reptile place yesterday and we are going to the cinema today (is half term break), we like nothing more to get out and walk. Not forgetting to talk about what we can see.

    During my Psychology ‘module’ I read that the reason that kids are so adept at playing is that their ‘known world’ is very small compared to ours. They don’t know how electricity works or how cheese is made etc. This means that their heads are full of ‘facts’ made up from their 90% imagination space, with their known facts taking up just 10%.

    Compared to adults who ‘know everything’ and thus our imagination is squeezed into say 10%!

    What a wonderful notion and so I regularly ‘make up’ facts for my kids, as fantastical explanations for ordinary stuff is fun!

    Stay well

  2. Helena says:

    Here’s another interesting exercise along the same lines. Try looking at the space, instead of the thing. For example, in studying a flower, focus on the space between the petals instead the petals themselves. Gives quite a different perspective, especially if contemplating my mentor’s comment that it is the spaces that actually connect us all.

I'd love to know what you think...