When you think about the world, what comes to mind? Do you envision catastrophe across the bounded contents between species of the same people, bent on hurting each other over who’s right and who’s wrong? Do you think of war? Hate? Malice? Prejudice? Or do you think of the world and envision rolling, tree-carpeted hills stretching miles? Or do you imagine the sweet scent of the ocean, or the forest after a spring rain?
We all see the world as only we can. Perhaps our perspective is a scrapbook of things we hear online; Facebook, or the news. Or perhaps our perspective is drastically different from those of our peers, classified only by our own definition of truth, uninhibited by the words of others. To some, this is biased and closed-minded, to others, revolutionary and truth-seeking.
Consider, for a moment, what a man on the other side of the planet is thinking. Not just how he lives, or what he eats, but how he thinks. Can you do it, truly? Perhaps you can. I know I can’t. No matter how I try, I imagine the world around him as I would envision it, not how the man would envision it. No doubt as I learned more and more, my opinion and, indeed, my perspective would change. Suppose I imagine he lives in poverty, or is unhappy with his life, doomed to repeat his work day. Suppose I assume his surroundings are unaccomodating, or that his life is hectic or chaotic.
But I don’t know a thing about this man. So where do all those presumptions come from? Am I a skilled, psychological mastermind? Am I so full of myself that I can assume what another’s lifestyle must be like simply by the will of my own imagination?
I hope that I am none of those.
But where it must have come from, then, is my own perception on the world. It must have come from the experience I have gleaned, either through the rigors of my daily life or from the experiences that others have shared with me. Those experiences fuel my imagination, and any supposed perspective I might conjure would only be as good as how informed my own perspective is. It will never be fully correct.
And that brings me to the point of this blog post. The world is a chaotic place recently, isn’t it? So much violence, so much hate, so many people who want to hurt other people. But the world is not one big ball of chaos; it is not one swirling field after field of terror. It is simply the world, riddled with ideas and perspectives and beliefs of countless expressions of the universe, all caught up in the ego of themselves or those around them.
The world is how you choose to perceive it.
I cannot, with 100% certainty, say I know what reality is. I can say only how I have perceived it. I can say how I choose to perceive it and so can you! The next time you view the world or an event within it, catch yourself before to you go down the rabbit hole of negativity or association. Challenge yourself to find the good in the world, even if a situation is terrible or tragic. Strive to seek out happiness in your life as assuredly as you do oxygen and food. Do this, and while terrible things will always be terrible, they will not define the world, nor your perspective of it.
Don’t forget to smile.