Perspectives. It’s been on my mind a lot these days.
I’ve come down to this… it has to do with our standpoint. Approach and attitude to things and the sentiment we attach to them.
- You lose a precious diamond ring to a snatch thief but your ring finger is still intact.
- You can’t travel for a well-earned and much anticipated holiday because your doctor caught an ailment before you left that required immediate treatment. You lost your holiday of a lifetime but you live to speak of it.
- You lose a business opportunity but save a good friendship.
And many, many more scenarios that you probably can think of.
But my perspective is that attitudes have taken a material change. I’m not sure if we even stop to think about the “what ifs” anymore. There doesn’t appear to be a what if scenario. Everything just IS…. No cause and effect “If this were, therefore that” scenarios. Just this IS ….
I’ve been thinking about where that comes from. Whether it is a mentality that “takes” without considering the “give”. Things are just appropriated. Everything has become a right. There is nothing else to consider. No flip side (unless you talk about flipping a property :p). No other value or sentiment attached.
So we lament the loss of the diamond ring without considering the finger could have gone along with it. We whine a holiday interrupted forgetting the risk of being dangerously ill in a foreign land. Mourn a business opportunity lost without a second thought of betraying a friend.
The premium it appears is not on worth but cost. I think that’s precisely it. It is no more about the sentiment attached to how we approach things. It’s been reduced to the lowest common denominator … cost. What does it cost? Not its worth. Not how you value a finger (now wipe those rude thoughts from your head :)). A friendship. A life. But the cost of the diamond, the holdiay, the opportunity cost of the business.
A friend and I were having a poignant discussion about this a couple of days ago. Underlying it all is what really matters to us. Looking at things in perspective got her to release something she had held on to. Whether it had started from sentimental reasons, or she had held it due to ego, confusion and hurt from a betrayal , it did not matter anymore.
What really matters … always confronts us at the face of death; because it really should be about that one life we have and how we live it. It is something so simple and salient but always forgotten. When you think of someone fighting for his/her life, with a courage and dignity beyond measure, things just get clearer. Everything else pales in comparison. And there doesn’t appear any reasons to whine and moan anymore. Suddenly counting the cost is as what it should be. Not in monetary terms but the real value that gives it meaning.
At the heart of it, does it matter if we get or do not get everything exactly according to our worldview and expectations? At what price?…. To what end? Is it eternal?