Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Some Say this and some say that...Perspectives

We all have opinions and views about everything. What one sees and what one thinks about it, depends on how one sees something and how one feels towards the subject. Different perspectives throw different shades on the same subject and present it in a different light.  Two people may look at the same thing and describe it differently. It is like seeing a glass with water mid-way to the top. Some would see it as half full and some as half empty. It's all about attitude and perspective. George Carlin says: "Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be."

I typed perspectives into the Google bar and got a whole lot of quotes on 'perspective.' I enjoyed going through them and picked a few which I want to share with you. Some are funny, some witty and some mundane but all are debatable if you're inclined to debate! I'm not in that mood!


*It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say, 'It's as plain as the nose on your face.' But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you? (Isaac Asimov)

*The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole. (Oscar wilde)

*When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity. (George Bernard Shaw)

*We see the moon as full, half or quarter. As far as the moon is concerned, he is always full. (Terri Guillemets)

*Flowers often grow more beautifully on dung-hills than in gardens beautifully kept. (saint Francis De Salles)

*It is seldom indeed that one parts on good terms, because if one were on good terms one would not part. (Marcel Proust)

*My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure. (Ashleigh Brilliant)

*Expectant of greater things we climb higher and higher - an effort that costs us much, leaving us short of breath to find only the ground below is much prettier. (Phillip Pulfrey)

*A boil is no big deal......on someone else's neck. (Jewish saying)

*The bat hanging upside down laughs at the topsy-turvy world. (Japanese proverb)

*In the ideal sense nothing is uninteresting; there are only uninterested people. (Brooks Atlinson)

*Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision. (Stevie Wonder)

*Retreat! Hell! We're just advancing in another direction. (Oliver Prince Smith)

*Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious. (Saint Thomas Aquinas)

*An abridgement may be a bridge: it may help us over the water, but it keeps us from drinking. (Augustus William Hare, Julius Charles Hare)

*No one knows what they'll do in a crisis and hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers. (Joan Baez)

*What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight. (Joseph Joubert)

*Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is the lightning that does the work. (Mark twain)

*It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem. (G K Chesterton)

*I'm right-handed, whereas the fellow in my mirror is left-handed. I start shaving from the left; he starts from the right. Differences only in perceptions, but religious wars have been fought over such. (Robert Brault)

*People can tell you to keep your mouth shut but that doesn't stop you from having your own opinion. (Anne Frank)

*If you are going to say what you want to say, you are going to hear what you don't want to hear. (Roberto Bolano)

*At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you. (Criss Jami)

*Don't judge a man by his opinions, but what his opinions have made of him. (Georg Cristoph Lichtenberg)

*If you have to say or do something controversial, aim so that people will hate that they love it and not love that they hate it. (Criss Jami)

*One day you'll discover that the opinions of worthless people are worthless. (Piers Anthony)

*We don't get harmony when everyone sings the same note. Only notes that are different harmonize. The same is true of people. (Steve Goodier)

*We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. (Abraham Lincoln)

*If it's true our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. (George Carlin)

*What people in the world think of you is really none of your business. (Martha Graham)

*Fairy tales always have a happy ending.That depends......on whether you are Rumpelstiltskin or the Queen. (Jane Yolan)

*Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world. (Wayne W. Dyer)

*Sleep is the best meditation. (Dalai Lama)

On that note I say ciao.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Your Word

Recently, I came across a quote on commitment which reminded me of another one I had read, many, many years ago, that impacted my life. The recent one was:
"Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left you."
It sounds great, very strong, however it left me with a feeling of ambiguity. It does not convey the whole message.  The stress on caution was missing. In the spur of a moment, caught up by a wave of emotion, we may commit to something without even giving it a thought. What are we committing to? The reference to "the mood" is ambiguous. The mood could have been anything: frivolous, drunken, even just a dare or vicious, or bitter, or vengeful. What message is it conveying exactly? To a narrow mind, a narrow perception this message could be misleading. Before we make a commitment; a promise, we must be careful before we give our word. The message above seems to justify any commitment, made in any "mood." While commitments must be kept, it is important to know what we are committing to. Is it violating our value system? Is it going against the law of the land? Is it the right thing?   

The value of commitment was written on my heart when I was a ten year old. It was the year my father decided to put in his papers and take an early retirement from the Navy, to devote his time wholly to the Lord's service. After the formal send off by his department, daddy was invited by the Chief of Staff, Admiral B S Soman, to a private dinner at his home. My elder sister promptly gave daddy her autograph book for the Chief's autograph. The Chief obliged with these wonderful words of caution and wisdom:
"There is nothing more valuable than your word, so be careful."
I read it. I re-read it. I liked it. It sounded profound. I didn't get it. 

It was too profound for my limited intelligence in this area. So, as always, I had to ask daddy. And, as always, he sat me down and explained it to me, supporting it with biblical reference too. I nodded, it made sense but I still needed to think more about it. I mulled over it and then so many other matters of change occurred in my life, I had no time to ponder over such things as my word. But, neither the words nor the lesson was lost on me. I remembered. It was embedded on my heart. This small sentence with a huge message has stayed with me ever since; has nudged me, poked me, stabbed me so many times during the years of growing. If I thought I had learned it good I had another thought coming. Some lessons have to be learned and re-learned as long as it takes to get it. Even today, it kicks me hard, especially when I find myself caught in a maddening situation of honoring a commitment foolishly made.

It is better, any day, to say an emphatic 'no' (or a mild one) but a definite NO, rather than lie outright, or make lame excuses, or give outrageous, ridiculous reasons to wiggle out of keeping your word. 

Would you like to be known by the commitments you never kept? I guess not. So be careful who or what you are committing to.