As You Gain Perspective, You Gain Wisdom…
When making intentional, mindful living a daily practice, how do you deal with people who just don’t see things or refuse to see things the way you do?
Imagine you are looking out at a beautiful vista. You see beautiful trees, a valley, and a slowly setting sun on the horizon. Now imagine that to see this scene, you have to peer over a high brick wall. Your friend is also with you; however she is much shorter and unable to catch a glimpse over the wall. The experience will be much different for the both of you.
Similarly, imagine you are walking up a flight of steps; while you are walking up the third step, someone else may be following on the first, and even still, some may be walking down that flight of stairs. You must see where you stand and also where others stand to understand that each person on that flight of stairs has a different perspective on how to get where they are going.
Each person with whom you come into contact is moving, just as you are. And every person believes that they are going somewhere. What they may not realize is that while they may be moving forward, they might also be walking around the block, in circles. Perhaps this is something you have been doing as well?
Furthermore, you might also move in reverse…you are still moving but in fact you are moving backwards. If you are unable to see a clear road, you may feel that you are constantly working hard and feel yourself moving, but you do not realize that you are actually moving in reverse.
This is why it is important to purify and balance yourself, which allows you to gain perspective. When you make a conscious and consistent effort to look inward, you consistently check yourself. A powerful way of achieving this is through sitting meditation and/or walking meditation. You purify, balance, and gain perspective by always being aware and regularly asking yourself the following questions:
- Who am I?
- Where am I going?
- Are the actions, emotions, and interactions in my life consistent with a good life?
- Have I been here before? Was the result good or bad?
By consistently and deliberately asking yourself these questions as you go about your daily life, your ability to clearly see yourself and where you stand in relation to where you are trying to go increases. And, as you see yourself more clearly, you also begin to see others more clearly. You can see if they even have the ability to see what you are able to see. You will also be able to gain a sense of peace in the understanding that no one can change themselves unless they truly want to change. Unless that person is willing to change, you can keep working hard at changing them, but as a result, you may also end up moving in reverse. Wisdom is the ability to see beyond the surface, seeing where you yourself are standing and also where others are standing.
Before trying to convince others to see the way that you do, be sure that you are aware of yourself. Then, you will come to see others and the view from where they stand. If you want your friend to see the magnificent view beyond the brick wall, trying to convince her of how beautiful the view is may be futile. You can provide her with the tools to see it for herself–you can mention that she could stand on a chair. However, your friend may not have a chair or a car to transport a chair back. Still yet, your friend may not have the will or desire to change their view, regardless of how much better it might be from your perspective. The more you try to convince or provide solutions, which may work well for you, but not for the other person, the more you work against yourself. If you know yourself, you will be able to find peace in knowing that others may not have the ability or the will to see things the way that you do and you will find resolve in avoiding a detour that can thwart you off of the correct course.