Sunday, November 11, 2012

When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before. ~Clifton Fadiman


I've recently begun rereading books that I read in my youth and am struck by how my focus has changed. As a former teacher, I am struck by the fact that perhaps we expect too much of our youth when we assume they will gain insight and wisdom from classics that they are not ready to understand. Oh, its not that they are not savvy enough, or smart enough to dissect the text. They are. It's just that some things cannot be understood without the life experience to support them. I'm not sure we should make them try.

I suppose it is the same with all things in life. How we react, how we see the events in our lives, and what we learn from them is intertwined with the being we are at the moment. It's not so much what happens as it is how we interpret those events.

When we view life with a critical eye, scanning the horizon for threats, that's exactly what we see. Not because the threats are there, but because it's how we choose to see them.

If you are in the habit of viewing life from a superficial lens, as you scan the horizon for threats to your success, don't be surprised if that is all you see. Like the young reader who tries to read the classics from the viewpoint of youth, you will only see what you are ready to see.

If, on the other hand, you are willing to give up the constant scanning for threats, and are willing and able to look beyond to opportunities that lurk just past the horizon, there is no limit to what you may discover.

For today, cast aside the tendency to scan for threats and set your sights beyond the horizon, as you go forward to reach your dreams and goals.

Today, I am grateful for the amazing ability of the mind to overcome obstacles and see beyond the obvious. I am grateful for the courage and vision to step out and go beyond the limits that seem to loom in the distance.
I am grateful for the crisp, cold air of fall that hints of winter to come. I am grateful for the birds of the air and animals of the forest who take the changing seasons in stride. I am grateful for my garden that lies silently waiting for another spring.
I am grateful for family that brings life meaning, for children who bring laughter to the world, and for the elderly who take the time to share their wisdom. I am grateful for strangers who I may never meet, but who touch my life in unseen ways, as we all journey together to reach our dreams.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you look past seeming threats to your success today, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.