Monday, October 20, 2014

Simple Suggestion # 216... Try a broader perspective

These last few weeks of autumn, during the season when "every leaf is a flower," as noted by Camus, my walks with Shadow pup have been just glorious. The many tree-canopied streets we stroll fill my eyes with sun-flecked greens and golds that are too much to take in from the sidewalks. So I decided to abandon the sidewalks and walk down the middle of the residential roads (moving out of the way if cars come, of course). And I've discovered that my canopied perspective from the middle of the street is better. See what I mean?

As Shadow and I walked under the trees, I started thinking about how important it is to broaden our perspectives whenever possible. Human beings are not meant to be static. When we always do things and see things in the same way, we miss out on a lot of living.

A few weeks ago, my cousin reminded me of this again. She invited me to go with her to our local mosque's open house on "Islam and Non-violence." With all the stories about the extremist Islamic State in the news, the event was timely! Unfortunately, I had a prior commitment and missed out, but she and her parents went and really enjoyed learning about our Muslim brothers and sisters and their beliefs. She commented that it was "very informative and refreshing to hear that Islam is also peaceful" (its name is actually derived from the Arabic word for peace) -- it's mainly the ISIS/ISIL extremists who have twisted the meaning of the Quran's teachings. I hope the local mosque will have another open house soon, as I plan to attend the next one with my cousin.

That's just one example. Sometimes widening our perspective can be as simple as rearranging a routine or doing something differently. I could try brushing my teeth with my left hand rather than my right, or make a different choice for breakfast. Take a different route to work, or listen to another radio station/read an alternative news feed. Try on a new point of view. Imagine walking a mile in the moccasins of someone whose life is completely different. The possibilities are endless! The idea is that by changing things up, we widen our appreciation of the life we've been given and gain insight into the perspectives of others not like us -- and teach our "old dog" a "new trick" or two in the process.

How will you expand your horizons today?

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.

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