A couple of years ago I drove through the state of Idaho on the way to yellowstone national park. I don't remember much about Idaho, except that it was flat, there was an incredible amount of farmland, and it seemed like time was under some sort of spell. I didn't really go into Idaho expecting to see any great natural beauty like beautiful forests, mountain peaks, or stunning canyons, and I'm sure that Idaho has some very lovely stuff. The part that I went through, though, was simply not captivating. But then I began to think about something. I'm sure Idahoans (sp?) find great pride and great beauty in their state. I'm sure many of them wouldn't want to live anywhere else, because the things I see as boring and yawn-worthy they see as home. This got me thinking about something I have a problem with: perspective.
I don't know if I'd say it's one of the biggest problems I see with people today, but the battle for perspective is certainly right up there with other nagging issues. We live in a society that is dominated by advertising. And what is the goal of advertising? To make you feel like you need something. We in America are bombarded by more advertisements than ever before. We get them through TV, newspapers, magazines, radio, and even cell phones. We are constantly told that we need something else in our life to make it truly "satistying". I think this kind of thinking has finally caught up to us and has caused us to really lose our perspective.
If I told you that over 3 billion people live on 2 dollars or less a day, would you suddenly consider yourself to be a little more financially comfortable. Or that several billion people go to sleep each night wondering where the next meal will come-if it will come at all. Would this change your perspective?
Don't we always get a sudden, strange appreciation for our lives when we hear stories of struggle and pain from other people? When we come into contact with other people's life situations, we then see our lives in a different light. It's as if we live our life with such tunnel vision that we don't have any peripheral vision to see whats happening in the world around us. I think if we did, we'd start to appreciate our lives in a little deeper context. We'd start realizing that all the things we consider normal in our lives are actually the greatest blessings of all. See, we've lost the perspective of contentment. Not the kind of contentment that is complacent and lazy, but the kind that realizes the small things in life are worth savoring.
I wonder where the struggle for perspective will take us in the future?