The phrase 20/20 vision is generally and mistakenly taken to mean perfect eyesight but the accurate definition means clarity of vision looking at an object from 20 feet. So, although you may be able to see perfectly at that distance you may not see as well something either further away or closer to you than 20 feet. Using that as a metaphor, how well do you really see? Do you see only the material or physical things in your immediate surroundings, your work, your family or your social settings and is this viewpoint narrowly defined or are you able to take a wider, more comprehensive view and understand that everything is connected? We and our actions are all connected to each other and to our environment. The mental image I visualise when thinking about this is either a giant jig-saw puzzle where all the pieces interlock to create the whole picture or a set of dominoes lined up in a row and when you tap one it falls onto the next, and the next one falls continuing until the entire row is lying flat.
Applying the analogy of sight, we first need to focus on our internal belief system and way of being in the world before we can beneficially impact our immediate family or work status or reach out into the bigger universal issues. There is a mystery to life and while scientists and others may do their part in unravelling much of it as time and knowledge progress, I don’t believe that anyone will uncover the root of the mystical or spiritual aspect of human beings – the life force, the essence within each of us that drives the emotional, intellectual and physical workings of our systems. It’s not necessary to understand the how or even the why, and it has nothing todo with any religion we may choose to follow. It is only necessary to accept it is the essential life essence of being a human being which elevates us above other life forms. Let’s not get caught up with the busyness and business of life, of success at our chosen work, or the acquisition of possessions which, although they may give us a sense of achievement, may also cost us the time or the energy to look within ourselves for a deeper sense of purpose. If we can learn to ignore what the media or others are selling us as desirable goals which are inevitably materialistic, we can make the time to truly define our own system of values. It is the details of life that really matter because they are not really details – they will define how we connect to that perfection within us and move through our lives and whether or not we are living in an ‘awake’ state where we see, really see, the beauty in things all around us in things or in people. Did you notice the incredible blues of the ocean today, right at our doorstep? Did you see the beauty in a flower or a tree blooming, a wall of bougainvillea? Did you notice the look on a stranger’s face when you smiled and said ‘good day’? Or how that made you feel when you showed thoughtfullness or a kindness? These small things bring peace of mind and increased happiness, no matter our state physically or financially. We need to connect to this before we go out into the world to see what contribution we are called to make.
At the start of this a new 2020 decade, we really do urgently need to take a good look around our immediate environment and then the wider view. It’s not a pretty sight. We human beings in our ignorance and carelessness with so little foresight and narrow, selfish perspective, have created a holocaust on planet earth, our home. Over the years far-sighted experts have spoken and written about the potential damage to our environment with very specific warnings. For instance, Rachel Carson who published her famous book “Silent Spring” in 1962 before some of you readers were born and which launched the Environmental Movement leading to several related Acts being passed in the 1970’s. And yet – and yet …. 58 years later, here we are in this mess. Warnings have been systematically ignored or we assumed as individuals that if we didn’t do our part, it didn’t really matter, there would be no consequences, because somehow, magically, something would take care of it. Well, it didn’t!
We make the mistake – or perhaps it’s an excuse for inaction – that nothing any one of us as an individual might do, will make a difference but that’s simply not true. If I do one little thing and you do one little thing and the next person does one little thing, it will make coalesce. As Mother Teresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”