- a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.
I perceive things to be true based on my own head, heart, and soul. It all comes from my personal experiences. Many of those blessed and golden, while others heartbreaking and somewhat questionable. I lug all the baggage of those moments, to how I view the world, my relationships, my friendships, and my life.
Due to the recent tragic events happening in our world, my fear, worry, and insecurity all hatch slowly in my head. Struggling to fight them, I think too much, and fall down a slippery slope of vulnerability and weakness. Today, I want to push away negative feelings and change them. It is important to view the world differently and focus on important moments of beauty, joy and love. I want to take control of how I see each situation. I hope to find ultimate strength in changing my perception.
I continually struggle with my own perception of the world, my city, my friendships, and family. Sometimes it is too easy to remain stagnate and still. With an extremely strong intuitive side, I recognize and feel so much even before I get any outward clues. Many times, I can see warning signs of fissures in relationship foundations. This can sometimes be a curse, but today I am going to look at it as a blessing. Instead of reacting, pointing them out, or shedding blinding light on them, I want to thoughtfully seek to lean into the strongest part and build extra support by considering different views and perceptions.
I recognize there are many issues in our world today where great divides have occurred. It is easy to stand on my side and my perception of what is right and shout what I believe.
The harder route is to experience and explore another perspective and then in doing so really fortify those beliefs and stand up for them without apology, anger, or any thrashing of tongues full of put downs and negativity. It all begins with a conversation and listening.
Go on, you are thinking my song today will be Kumbaya. I dare you to consider this in your own heart. When we focus our eyes on all the wrongs happening, we blame and stew. When we seek out moments of beauty, clarity, and relationship with those unlike ourselves, we slowly change our own perception.
In the midst of an obscene number of controversial and violent events, I feel such pain. As we grieve each horrific incident and try to move forward, I read or hear shocking opinions quite different from my own personal view. Quick to judge each harshly, I must remind myself, each person’s perspective is built on past experiences, as well as, their lack of experiences.
My own position included.
Just as important as my personal relationships, I refuse to allow this ugly, seething bacteria of ’my way or the highway’, spread dangerously and rot away any kindness and compassion. Thus, ultimately, destroying our very existence.
Here is my plan…after all, my life is the only one I can control.
1. Listen. People want to be heard. Find opportunities to stay quiet and thoughtfully listen to others.
2. Stay informed about the world, but also look at multiple news sites and read opposing views.
3. Reach out and learn about cultures and people who are different.
4. Find a way to share an act of random kindness each day. Whether it be, allowing a car to change into your lane, offering a hand to someone in the grocery store, or even sending a written note of love to someone in pain, these acts can change perceptions. Focusing on the possibilities of kindness, changes the brain and also brings joy to someone else.
5. Step outside of comfort zones and try something new and different.
I began a new course of study in a small group of unlikely characters, titled ‘Poetry of Witness’, led by published poet and author, Dorothy Howe Brooks. Poetry of witness reflects on the larger social issues of its time: war, racial and social injustice, poverty, immigration, etc. It looks at the human condition and bears witness.
In our class, we read incredible poems about tough social issues. We then discuss the poet’s view and our own view. Participating in this class is eye-opening. I am reminded how different my perception is compared to others. Face to face, we each discuss, share, and thoughtfully listen. It is enlightening and a most valuable experience for me. I am reminded how unique people are and the deeply personal experiences which form their opinions.
This class is just one step in a series of attempts to grow and push my own intellectual boundaries.
“In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only a part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and is still never complete. And Truth comes somewhere above all of them, where……sower and reaper can rejoice together. ” Paul Kalanithi’s book, When Breath Becomes Air
I get it…..I only see a part, my part. I want to see more…..
I am willing to open doors to change.
So, why not explore music that pushes some boundaries as well? This song speaks to me today, because it is very simple in nature, but complex in idea. Go on and watch because an interpretation of the video is clearly multifaceted.
how can I forget about life
how can I make things nice
still I don’t want to be alone
tomorrow is another day
tomorrow is another day
Sad Fish is an Atlanta based band that I need to get to know and see live. They are Arthur Cabral – Guitar/vocals, Emma Rubenstein – Drums, Sean Conlon – Bass, and Chris O McGrath – Guitar. Somehow, I stumbled upon this track, “Nights”, on Immersive Atlanta‘s site and it totally resonates with me today.
Direct, simple lyrics and twangy post-punk guitars create a perfect contrast which jarringly captures my attention. Their song, “Nights”, is a stand out track from their recent EP release, Never 2 Cool 2 Dance. As much as the video is entertaining, I suggest you listen again with eyes closed and seep into the music.
There is power in how we view the world around us. Will you be a listener? Take time to push your boundaries? Move toward love and compassion?
We all need to be reminded that tomorrow is another day. What will you do with yours?