Friday, March 6, 2009

+ perception for the day

When you were really little if someone showed you an apple and told you it was an orange, you would have believed them. So, how can we be sure that what we learned when we were little is true or right or real? I asked my high school kids this question and they said, "we can't!!" When we turn something around and look at it in a different way we are challenging our perceptions. And stretching our minds. And walking through another door, in someone else's shoes. From the Louis Malle film, 'My Dinner With André'- ANDRE: 'I mean, if you don't have that electric blanket, and your apartment is cold, and you need to put on another blanket or go into the closet and pile up coats on top of the blanket you have, well then you know it's cold. And that sets up a link of things: you have compassion for the person, well, is the person next to you cold? Are there other people in the world who are cold? What a cold night! I like the cold, my God, I never realized, I don't want a blanket, it's fun being cold, I can snuggle up against you even more because it's cold! All sorts of things occur to you. Turn on that electric blanket and it's like taking a tranquilizer, it's like being lobotomized by watching television. I think you enter the dream world again. I mean, what does it do to us, Wally, living in an environment where something as massive as the seasons or winter or cold don't in any way affect us? I mean, we're animals after all. I mean, what does that mean? I think that means that instead of living under the sun and the moon and the sky and the stars we're living in a fantasy world of our own making.' How real and true are we living? Many of us, until recently, never thought of the real possibility of losing our jobs or our homes. But now we are thinking about that. Now we have more in common with people who struggle every day to eat, to drink clean water. Suddenly we are part of something bigger than us and things can go either way and we are more alive. Yes, it's scary. But it's also an opportunity to see things in a different way. To appreciate the things we have. To be grateful. And that's positive.

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