So I've said it before and I'll say it a thousand times more. It's all in how you look at things. It's all about PERSPECTIVE.
I was reading a book to my son Jude. He is so beautiful and full hearted, but the is definitely the one who challenges me day in and day out. I was reading him a book called, "The Phantom Tollbooth." In all my years, and all my books, and all my college, and all my "English major" studies, How have I never read this book? This book is the story of Jude. I swear it. I thought it the whole time I was reading it, to the point of actually feeling great AWE at times. Milo is Jude, Jude is Milo. The boy who wants to take the short cut and misses the exit. The boy who (hopefully) eventually learns the lessons that the road of life has for you. I am not sure Jude really got it. But I do promise you this, I will read it to him again. Later in his life, and again... until he does. It's my job. To make sure he gets it. My job to help him along his journey and keep him on the road.
That got me thinking.
No parent ever plans to let her kids fork off on that path that takes them the wrong way. So where and when does that happen to people? The lady on the corner begging for change, who looks from behind to be 21 but who's face had the wear of a 60 year old? That man who sleeps under a tree with a cart of metal he plans on selling for cash. I'm not jumping ahead and wondering if Jude will be homeless or anything, don't get me wrong. I just can't help but ponder how any of us ends up where we are. I look back on the endless myriad of choices we have had like a maze of veins, forking in all directions. Each choice bringing us to a new path. And I wonder about fate and destiny and I wonder if all our choices really matter or are we destined to end up where we are.. do all roads lead us here?
I am pretty happy about where my life has lead. I really would not change a thing.
I read somewhere. I can't quite remember... that a person can say they have had a good life if they can look back and say that they'd not change a thing. Not that they did not make mistakes but that they understand that those mistakes made them who they are and that they liked who they are.
I understand that each and every choice I have made has lead me here and even though some of those choices were not great, even though some hurt, burn, scalded... I am here and I like what I see when I look out of these eyes. Of course things could be better. I could have a better house, a better car, a 100 less pounds, more money in the bank. I could spend half a day comparing myself and my achievements or lack of to others around me. I could measure myself be someone else's ruler. But I choose not to. I choose to look at life with this heart and from these eyes, and the view from here is pretty spectacular.
In the book Milo comes upon a boy who is floating in mid air. A boy named Alec Bings. The boy talks to Milo about perspective. He says, "...you certainly can't always look at something from someone else's Point of View. For instance, from here that looks like a bucket of water (pointing to a bucket of water.) But from an ant's point of view it's a vast ocean, from an elephant's just a cool drink, and a fish , of course, it's a home. So, you see, the way you look at things depends a great deal on where you look at them from."
Don't waste one more second thinking about what you don't have, be grateful for what you do. Don't waste one more second on complaints about things you don't like if you've no plan to change them. Don't waste on more minute on judgement of anothers life, because maybe it's exactly where they want to be, or need to be.
I wonder if those people that I see on the corner got stuck in the doldrums. I wonder if they are lost in the foothills of confusion. Or perhaps are they exactly where they choose to be? Perhaps from where they stand life looks beautiful?
Perhaps the road Jude goes down will be completely different than one I'd choose for him, perhaps it will be hard, perhaps it will be fraught with danger and mistakes and pitfalls...All I can ask is that he learn from them, grow from them, build on them, and eventually look in his rear view mirror at them with great thanks. It's only when we get stuck in them and can't find our way out that we are truly lost. Jude's heart is always a compass for me, and I know it will serve him well. Jude may take the scenic route, but I know he will be all the better for it.
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”