Monday, October 8, 2018

A Shift of Perspective Brings Unity

Have you ever looked at a picture of the Earth taken from far out in space and considered how beautiful our Earth is and how from that wider perspective there are no territorial boundaries and no differentiation between religions, color of skin, ethnicity, country, government, or any other dividing label we place on ourselves and against others every day?

From way up high, implementing an expansive God's eye view of the Earth, we see that we are all one human race living on one beautiful planet. We are one people. We are us. I think if we were to regularly take some time to admire and thoughtfully consider that more expansive view within our thoughts and actions, we could become more united instead of continuing on so divided.

Considering the number of catastrophic events that have occurred all over the world in the past few weeks, many can't help but ask God why they are going through such tribulations involving immense destruction, chaos, and loss. Yet, it is through those very tragedies we clearly see that we are all truly equal and through which we find ourselves brought together with our fellow man. It is in the midst of catastrophe that man-created divisions fall down and become insignificant and unimportant. Tragedy gives birth to compassion and empathy and to truly caring, helpful hands. Through all these events, we discover that unity with other human beings is forged through the fire of suffering.

"Taking a “God’s-eye perspective,” as the Archbishop might say, allows us to transcend our limited identity and limited self-interest. One does not have to believe in God to experience this mind-altering shift in perspective. The famous Overview Effect is perhaps the most profound example. Many astronauts have reported that once they glimpsed Earth from space—a small blue ball floating in the vast expanse, lacking our human-made borders—they never looked at their personal or national interests in quite the same way again. They saw the oneness of terrestrial life and the preciousness of our planetary home. Fundamentally, the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop were trying to shift our perspective from focusing on I and me and mine to we and us and ours." -- The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

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