It’s so necessary and important to have a positive perspective. However it’s not always easy to do. If we expect to have any kind of serenity in life, it’s going to depend upon our ability to have and keep a good perspective. Let’s face it – it’s hard to keep our perspective when life isn’t going our way. Perspective is how we see the world and the events that happen to us. It shapes how we view life. We can respond positively or negatively toward our experiences. It all depends on our perspective.
To keep equilibrium when events don’t pan our in our favor, is not easy. We must see that there is a spiritual component that underlies our experience, can help mitigate our judgment. It is imperative that we withhold judgment. In time, we gain greater understanding of what happened to us. However, this is not always easy to do.
Why We Need To Withhold Judgment in a Situation
There’s a story told about a man who was about to get on an airplane. He had just bought some Mrs. Fields Cookies at the airport kiosk. An older lady sat down next to him and he noticed out of the corner of his eye, that she took one of his cookies. In fact, every time he took a cookie, she took a cookie. Instead of getting angry at her, he was amused. When it came to the last cookie, he took it, broke it in half and gave half to her and ate the other half. She, on the other hand, was very angry at him and she huffed away after she consumed her half. He wasn’t sure why she was so mad. After all, it was he who was the one being so gracious. A few minutes later, he boarded the plane. When he went to snap his seat belt, he felt something in his jacket pocket. When he reached down, he found his untouched bag of Mrs. Fields Cookies! You can find a poem about this story from Chicken Soup for the Soul here: https://www.chickensoup.com/book-story/35305/the-cookie-thief
The necessity of keeping a positive perspective and responding to a situation as best as we can:
Sandy was in the Marine Corp and he tried three times to make the rank of Sergeant. He loved being a marine, and all he wanted was to stay a pilot with his troop. However, he failed to be promoted. In fact, he then had to leave the military. He did not get to fulfill his lifelong desire to fly missions with his troop. He was despondent and dejected. So, Sandy grieved and went through the process of feeling sorry for himself. How did this come across? First, he bargained with God. Then, he played the victim to all who would listen. After some time, he accepted his fate and took another job in the public sector. A few months later, he opened up the Sunday paper. What he read next made his blood run cold. The paper reported that his entire military troop had been killed in a fluke accident. They were doing a practice drill in an airplane. Had he been promoted to Sergeant, he too would have been on that flight. He too would have perished along with his troop.
What we can learn from these stories:
- Oftentimes, we don’t always have the whole story, even when we think we know
- When we react negatively, it’s usually because we lack more information and perspective
- There’s always the option – we can choose our response to any given situation
Another opportunity for spiritual growth is to focus on seeing the positive in any given situation. The spiritual work we must do is to change our outlook towards our life. To train ourselves to sit in the discomfort and wait until more information comes our way. How we can do this is by keeping an open mind and withholding judgment of the current situation. Until then, we can strive to grow and learn through our experiences. We can trust that “more will be revealed” when it’s time for us to know. Sometimes we never get to know why something happens to us or in a situation. However, if we are open-minded and strive for spiritual growth, we can be assured that our perspective will get broader and we will grow in spiritual understanding.