You’d probably like Jeff. He’s really cool. Multi-talented and creative, he is in the middle of a project he created for himself in which he takes a daily photograph of a light house not too far from his home.
As of today, he has posted his photos for 81 consecutive days on social media. He has a great eye for photo composition, which is critical if you’re committed to photographing the exact same subject for 365 days and hope to not become redundant.
I don’t know why he’s doing this, but I’m glad he is. It’s become something I look forward to daily.
His commitment to this project forces him to look at this one light house from many different vantage points. He is quite open to seeing this one subject in many different ways. Up high, down low, at sunrise, at sunset, through clouds or fog. There is not one “right” photograph of this light house. He is open to moving around and seeing the subject from many different vantage points. At year’s end, when his project is completed, Jeff will know this light house rather intimately.
When we can see something from several different angles, we gain a tremendous understanding of exactly what it is we are looking at.
This works well with light houses.
And with people, too.
Sometimes we only see in people what we’ve habitually always seen. Sometimes what we see is based in part on assumptions we’ve created or inherited. But when we are willing to explore and see people from unfamiliar perspectives we gain a much more complete understand of who is really in front of us. When we are able to understand more about people whose views of and experiences in the world may be different from our own we are in a much better position to create a more inclusive environment in which all can coexist and thrive.
Maybe there’s more to be seen in the people we habitually see?
There always is.
If you decide to look.
It’s a great day to be you!
“Someday I’m gonna climb that mountain.”
It’s 1992 and I’m on my way to Keene, New Hampshire for the first time. As I approached from south of the city I caught my first glimpse of Mount Monadnock. It’s not a huge mountain, but it was the tallest one in southwestern New Hampshire. That’s when I announced I’d be climbing that mountain some day.
And I finally did.
26 years later.
Self-promises and bold declarations are easy to make. But for me, at times, life has been far more talk than actually doing. Years went by as I continued to travel Rte 12, always glancing at the big mass of granite and trees, reminding myself that I’d climb that mountain some day.
After my last birthday I began questioning many things in my life. When you realize you’ve had more birthdays than you’re gonna have your relationship with time changes. With that fresh perspective I decided to gently challenge myself and the collection of things I’d thrown into the rather thick “Someday” file. I wanted to look at each one and decide if it stays or if it goes. And if it stays, when was I actually going to do what I told myself I was going to do? Continue reading “Maybe Your Truth Is What’s Holding You Back?”
Hate needs a makeover.
I’m not a big fan of hate. Or of hateful people. But out of fairness, as a society we haven’t done a great job teaching people the proper way to hate others, have we?
None of us are born haters. Hate is something we learn rather informally, often influenced by those who guide us though our formative years. The people who teach us how to hate have no course syllabus or Powerpoint presentations to ensure we are doing it the “right” way. Rather, we become unsuspecting apprentices, watching and listening to the actions and words of those who we look up to and someday hope to make proud. Hate can be passed from one generation to the next just as easily as the color of someone’s eyes. Continue reading “The Modern Guide for Hating Other Humans”
Until you understand their pain, you will never understand the person. Without such understanding, the truth is inevitably distorted, and our expectations of others are flawed from the very beginning.
Understanding another’s pain is itself a flawed concept. To truly know pain you must own it. No matter their best intentions, no one else will ever know exactly how you feel. But what needs to be understood is that there is pain in all of us, the emotional dents and dings collected on life’s journey.
We judge others by what we see in front of us. Actions and attitudes not meeting our expectations are often met with harshness and disdain. A logical response in the mind of many. But what if we Continue reading “Random Acts of Blindness”
Culinary soul mates?
One of my many duties as a father of three school aged kids is that of the official sandwich maker. Most every morning I can be found standing over slices of bread, mindlessly configuring slices of ham, turkey, or olive loaf with American cheese and yellow mustard. Or if Dad didn’t get to the supermarket to pick up some deli meat, there’s always Plan B, also known as Peanut Butter and Jelly.
I guess I could have kept track of exactly how many sandwiches I’ve made in my role as official sandwich maker, but the morning usually never affords me the time to sit down and update a spreadsheet. But I wish I had a dollar for every sandwich I’ve made over the years.
PROFOUND A recent Plan B morning, it was time to make some PB & J’s. As I was about to unite the individual slices of wheat bread, one coated with a layer of peanut butter and the other coated with a layer of jelly, I stopped for a moment as I surprisingly realized something rather profound:
Peanut Butter doesn’t need Jelly. Continue reading “Life Lessons from Peanut Butter and Jelly”