- perspective 4
5 - perspective 6
I am, fifty-eight, and I still
what I'm going
when I grow up.
In the family it is said Gabe
"doesn't notice much--his head
is in the clouds." He
accepts this criticism as complimentary: "In the
clouds? Oh, thank you. I try."
Here is the secret of
inspiration. Tell yourself that thousands and tens of people,
intelligent and certainly no more intelligent than the
rest of us,
have mastered problems as difficult as those
that now baffle you.
you take a few minutes each day to quiet your mind, you
nice benefit: your everyday, "ordinary"
life will begin
to seem far more
things that previously went
unnoticed will begin to
please you. You'll be more easily satisfied,
all around. Rather
than focusing on what's wrong with
your life, you'll find yourself thinking
about and more
what's right with your life. The world won't
change, but your
perception of it will. You'll start to
notice the little acts
kindness and caring from other
people rather than
the negativity and anger.
Clay is fashioned
into vessels; it is on their empty hollowness that their
use depends. Doors and windows are cut out to make
a dwelling, and on the empty space within,
depends. Thus, while the existence of things may be
it is the non-existence in them that makes them
An excellent way to practice love is to set
your attention on seeing
someone's behavior or
personality. Try to realize that beneath
negative thinking, and poor behavior,
is connected to God. Just as you wouldn't
get angry at someone simply
because he or she is in a
wheelchair, you need not
be angry because a
yet opened his heart to the nourishment of his Soul. When
people act in unloving ways, it only
means that they are out of touch
their Souls and
aren't feeling spiritually nourished. When that
there is no need to panic. The best we can
do for ourselves is nourish
our own Soul by looking
beyond the behavior we don't care for,
the art of love.
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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are all so bent
and determined to get what we want, we miss the lessons
that could be learned from life's experiences. Many
of my AIDS patients
discovered that the last year of
their lives was by far their best. Many
they wouldn't have traded the rich quality of that last
life for a healthier body. Sadly, it is
only when tragedy strikes that most
of us begin attending
to the deeper aspects of life. It is only then that
attempt to go beyond surface concerns--what we look
how much money
we make, and so forth--to discover
what's really important.
have told you of those who
put on their spectacles
to eat cherries,
in order that the
look larger and more
tempting. In like
manner I always
the most of any enjoyments,
though I do not cast
away from troubles,
as small a
compass as I can for myself,
never let them annoy others.
We are all at different stages of growth,
so we each need different things
to trigger that
connection to the soul. What works for me on any
might not work for someone else, or for me on
Often, it is the basic things. I
live ten feet from the ocean, in a small cottage.
need to be by the water; I've spent a lot of my journey
getting closer and closer
to this water. I need to
remember, to get up in the morning and watch the sunrise
and take a moment at night to see and feel the sunset.
I need to see the colors
of the sky; I need to feel
the colors. I need to surround myself with music,
because my soul resonates to music. I've decorated
my home with
the colors of the universe--bright colors.
Color is light.
Colors help me feel alive,
help me feel passionate, help me remember
that I'm here
to be an alive, passionate human being.
everything is becoming.
tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of
only a green thing which stands in the way. To
the eyes of people
of imagination Nature is Imagination
itself. As we are, so we see.
you held it in your hands
I had flashes
but you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
while you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
you saw the whole of the moon
I was grounded
while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth
you cut through lies
I saw the rain-dirty valley
you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
you saw the whole of the moon
I spoke about wings
you just flew
I wondered, I guessed and I tried
you just knew
but you swooned
I saw the crescent
you saw the whole of the moon
adapted from "The Whole of the Moon"
on the Waterboys' This Is the Sea
two worlds: the world that
we can measure with line and rule,
and the world that we can feel
with our hearts and imagination.
things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved
for the imperfections that have been divinely appointed,
that the law of human life may be Effort,
and the law of
human judgment, Mercy.
are wise people who do not grieve
for the things
which they have not,
but rejoice for those which they have.
It is better for
you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet,
a golden couch and a rich table and be full of trouble.
|Without a doubt, the
most valuable aspect of my life has been the period that I've lived in
Europe. I've spent five years over
there--almost two in Spain and over three in Germany.
I've also spent four years in the army, and I've
lived in every geographic area of the United States. I've also spent over eight years in
college, studying literature (especially world lit), Spanish,
journalism, education, and
teaching English as a Second Language, which has also
opened up my eyes to many different ways of looking at
These things have been important to
me because I've felt my eyes and my mind open up
considerably, especially in the way that I'm able to see
wisdom in the words of others. I've learned that
there are many wonderful people on this planet, and I've
had the great honor and privilege of meeting many of them,
though you would have heard of none of them. But
they're people I can learn from, if I but keep my mind
open to their lessons, if I but listen--no, hear--when
they speak, if I pay close attention when I read their
Living in so
many places has helped me to see just how differently people from
other places and cultures see the world, and just how valid their
perspective is, no matter how much it may differ from mine.
People in Spain tend to see relationships differently than people in
New England, and the Germans tend to see work differently than people
in Arizona. And that doesn't matter--neither group's perspective
is wrong, and neither is necessarily a perspective that others should
can cause us to see a
beautiful sunset as a boring, ordinary part of daily life, or it
can help us to see the beauty in the many "ordinary"
things that surround us. Almost everything we see
or have access to is a miracle, either in its simplicity
or complexity. The flowers that grow in our gardens have gone
through an amazing process of turning from a seed to flowers.
The rivers that flow are fed with water that has gone through an
incredible cycle of evaporation, falling as rain, flowing to a certain
area where it can join the river. The fact that I can write these
words and put them on the internet so that friends I shall never meet in
South Africa and Hong Kong can read
them is one of the greatest miracles of our times, yet
the internet has quickly become "normal," a
tool for businesses to make more money.
But I've recognized something very
important--I can refuse to see the world and the things
and people in it as "normal"; I can choose to
see the marvelous qualities of everything, but I have to
work at it, for our societal norms tell us to value
conformity and the status quo. I'll always look for
the beauty in trees, the soul in the eyes of the people I meet, the wonder of the flowers that come out each spring,
the loveliness of children at play. And I'll do so
because I choose to do so, for those are the important
things in life. I'm not here to make money or
become famous--I'm here to love and to live. If I focus on that and maintain a great deal of responsibility (yes,
i will work), then I can't help but live a full life, for
there are many more rewards available to those who are
easily satisfied and entertained, and I choose to be more
than satisfied with the reward of a child's smile or a
friend's "thank you."
- perspective 4
5 - perspective 6
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Thinkers - the people behind the words
I am entirely on the side of mystery.
I mean, any attempt to explain away the mystery is
I believe in the profound and
unfathomable mystery of life
which has a sort of divine
quality about it.
beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
the fundamental emotion which stands at the
of true art and true science.
Compared to what we
ought to be, we are only half awake. We are
use of only a small part of our physical and mental
Through the eyes of our
minds you and I look out at reality (ourselves, other
the world, and God). However, we see these things
Your vision of reality is not mine and, conversely,
mine is not yours.
Both of our visions are limited and
inadequate, but not to the same extent.
We have both
misinterpreted and distorted reality, but in different ways.
have each seen something of the available truth and beauty to which
the other has been blind. The main point is that it is the
dimensions and clarity
of this vision that determine the dimensions of
our worlds and the quality of our lives.
To the extent that we
are blind or have distorted reality, our lives and our happiness
been diminished. Consequently, if we are to change--to
grow--there must first
be a change in this basic vision, or perception
look only at the surface and that satisfies them
and they think from
that surface they see, that is to be truly blind.
There are long periods when
life seems a small, dull round,
a petty business
with no point, and then
suddenly we are caught up
in some great event which
gives us a glimpse
of the solid and durable foundations of our existence.
with the choice between changing one's mind
and proving there
is no need
to do so,
almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
is the close observation of little things which is the secret of
in business, in art, in science, and in every pursuit of
To the world you may be just one person,
but to one person you may be the world.
You see things;
and say "Why?"
But I dream things that never were; and
say, "Why not?"
surest way to corrupt young people is to teach them to
highly those who think alike than those who
aspects of things that are most important for us
are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.
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during the day, I consciously focus on some ordinary object and
allow myself a momentary "paying-attention." This
paying-attention gives meaning
to my life. I don't know who it was, but someone said that
paid to anything is a window into the universe. Pausing to think
even for a brief moment, is very important. It gives quality to
can approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors,
with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply
have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds
worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane
preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that
important in the greater scheme of things.
Daniel C. Dennett
Breaking the Spell
of the problem with the word "disabilities" is that it
suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do
other things that many
of us take for granted. But what of people
who can't feel? Or talk
about their feelings? Or manage their
feelings in constructive ways?
What of people who aren't able to
form close and strong relationships?
And people who cannot find
fulfillment in their lives, or those who have
lost hope, who live
in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no
joy, no love?
These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.
World According to Mr. Rogers
Do you ever realize that you are now actually living the life which looked
so rosy and radiant with promise in your childhood and adolescence?
you recognize in the days and weeks as they slip by that iridescent dream
of the future, which then enchanted your youthful fancy, as a mirage in a
desert charms the senses of the weary traveler? Do you ever stop to think
that the time you are now trying to kill is the very time you once looked
forward to so eagerly, and which seemed then so precious; that the
moments which now hang so heavily on your hands are the same that you
then determined should never slip from your grasp until you had extracted
from each its fullest possibilities?
Why does what looked like paradise to you when viewed through youth's
telescope now seem but a dreary desert? Because your vision is distorted.
You are looking at your environment from a wrong point of view. You are
disappointed, discontented and unhappy, because you did not find the fabled
bag of gold at the foot of the rainbow, while you go on squandering, in
useless repining, the time that, properly used, would convert your present
seeming desert into the paradise of your early dreams.
The Joys of Living