As you look at the picture above, what do you see? Have another look before reading on!
Do you just see a beautiful spring meadow full of buttercups? Do you see a man resting after a long walk? Do you see a man who is unwell? Do you see a man who is praying? Do you see a man who is maybe a wildlife fanatic who is gazing at some bug? Do you see a man who is waiting for his giggling grandchildren to leapfrog over him but they are having a long run up? Do you see a man who is sad or lonely?
If I were to ask a dozen people, the chances are that I would get several different stories as each person would probably see it differently. You see, the way we perceive the world is as much about where we are and what is going on in us as it is about the situation we are viewing.
I read a story once about a man who was on the bus with a young child. The child was being difficult and unruly, causing quite a disturbance to the other passengers and the man didn’t seem able to control him. People all looked at him and tutted, whispering loudly to each other, and although the man noticed their reaction, he still didn’t remonstrate with the child. In the end, someone said gruffly to him, ‘Can’t you control that child? Can’t you see he is causing a disturbance?’ The man turned and said with a tear in his eye, ‘I’m sorry, I will try to calm him but you see, his mother died this morning’.
If you have ever visited Beddgelert in North Wales, you will know the story of Llewelyn the Great. It is said that he returned from hunting to find his baby missing, the cot overturned and his dog, Gelert, with blood all around its mouth. Thinking that the dog had killed the baby, Llewelyn took his sword and stabbed it in anger. Only after the dog was dead did Llewelyn hear a whimper and found the baby still alive and well, with a dead wolf beside it. The wolf had actually attacked the baby but Gelert had saved the child and killed the wolf. Llewelyn was mortified and is said to have never smiled again.
We can’t know all the facts behind every situation, but knowing that should make us always approach others with courtesy, care and sensitivity because we never know what their circumstances are. Sometimes we are just too quick to judge and jump to conclusions!
So, what do you see? What will you see today?
Thanks for reading Time to Reflect and for reflecting with me.
(All words and pictures are copyright of Terry Yarrow)