view of the world

[disclosure... this is a long one... i hope you don't get lost and forget to finish, i promise my next will be short and sweet and full of pictures] 

as an infant your perspective consists of mostly the house you live in and your parents.  your physical view of the world is very small, it might consist of the ground and a crib.  you probably noticed a ceiling fan at some point. as a toddler the park and maybe daycare you attended are added to the list of things that influence your development. thinking logically is simply out of the question. trees look like monsters in the dark, and spiders are the scariest things around. after dinner comes snack and then dessert, they are separate things not to be skipped or messed with by an adult.  obviously the world turns when you breathe and everything is the way you think it is. 

then somewhere between 7 and 12 you begin to see other people's points of view. you totally get that trees cast shadows and mythical monsters are not real even though until your  are 89 year old shadows will still make you wonder what creepy things are in the dark.  your logic is developing. you start noticing that maybe things aren't exactly how 6 year old you assumed.  

once you hit 12, until you die, you are developing your abstract reasoning.  we don't really ever stop learning, that is if we continue to search for new knowledge.

i think our view of the world around us is developed by experiences.  i think that expanding our view helps us understand others and ourselves.  if we were locked up in a house like an infant, our view of the world would be small.  some people don't have diverse views because their experiences have not pushed them to and uncomfortable place. i think we learn most when we feel uncomfortable. because we are human we don't really enjoy the feeling of being uncomfortable therefore we are rarely stretched to new knowledge.  

--------------------------------------------picture break----------------------------------------

children, on the other hand, are always exploring, pushing limits and asking bizarre questions. what i started noticing this summer was that even though i am not sitting in a classroom from 8a.m until 2:45p.m that does not give me the right to sit back and assume that my perspective of the world is the only right one out there. 

my abstract reasoning was stretched when i realized that what was good, and right for me was not necessarily the same for my friends. this of course is something my mother had told me 1.6 billon times before, "what your brother needs from me is different than what you need from me."  it always seemed strange to me that my little brother's curfew was later than mine, and because he was a boy his freedom was much different from mine.  after umm.. (embarrassing fact:)8+ years of arguing with my parents about what was right and wrong i sit here today in shame. they, once again, were right.  what is good for some is not always good for me. 

my perspective in life is built on the years i've spent babysitting, getting hit by a car, going to a church, attending my high school, riding horses, being home schooled, recess in the park, digging holes for dead goldfish, ducks, cats, and other dead animals we found on the street, organizing beads, writing stories, listening to music, enjoying food, doing yoga, having friends, bickering, traveling the world, listening to others, trying to listen to my parents and forming relationships. the person next to me has spend their life in a much different way than i have spent mine. so why would their current life need to look exactly like mine? what they have experienced lends them to a different life than the one i am living.  

[the end is near...hang on, you can do it!]

this in no way means that the stranger whose life looks different than mine and i cannot connect.  it is the small experiences and similarities that connect us. if we are living in a box, or with our head in the clouds we will never take the time to learn that the stranger might actually be one of our long lost confidants. in order to create meaning in our lives we have to make eye contact with those whose lives look different than ours, we must travel to ends of the earth to see how others are creating meaning of their lives. we must search for uncomfortable situations (but still safe)to learn how to solve problems.  we must be that child we were at age 6. we really don't have all the answers (well at least i don't...you might). 

[did you make it to the end? thanks! good luck experiencing the world and discovering new ways of life]  


No comments: