Friday, August 17, 2007

The Theory of Relativity

The Theory of Relativity
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Theory of Relativity

Excerpted from 25 Lessons: The Art of Living; Lesson 18: To Tell The Truth

Regardless of the truths I have realized through loss, I have also long known, and adamantly believed, that truth is relative.

We fashion reality, for ourselves and for others, everyday, with each new perspective that we offer through our words, through our opinions and recollections and opinions, and even through our photos. For what we choose to photograph is merely a manifestation of what we value, what we deem special enough to us, if only at that moment, to remember via a picture, and perhaps to eventually share with others.

Being conscious of this, I have made an extraordinary effort to see things and situations and environments in more ways then one, especially when I take pictures, especially when I venture out into New York City, which, with more ethnic populations than any other city in the world, is in and of itself an exemplar of how diverse truth can be.

It is mind-boggling to me to hear people say that there is only one truth, one right way. Throughout my life I have met and known a lot of people who see the world and life as divided between black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. On the contrary, I see truth as something, somewhere in between.

Life is rarely, if ever certain, for everyday we are blessed simply to be alive. And by keeping this thought in mind I am motivated to make the most of every opportunity, to seize the day and live life my way, by always seeking the truth and being true to how I feel as an individual.

Understanding, and most importantly, accepting, the relativity of our existence has long been a means of maintaining my sanity, my optimism, my composure, and most of all, my happiness. This mindset allows one to be flexible; allows one to seek a better, fuller, understanding of why people behave as they do; allows one to remain calm at all times; and it also allows one to change and adapt with each turn of events, with each surprise, with each change of plans, and with each relatively minor disappointment.

For disappointment is generated because of our mindset, that is—how we see and perceive and feel about things and situations and people (and their actions, or inaction); it is in other words, a relative truth.

Thus, whenever we feel any negative emotion because of others or because of our differences with them, because of the clash of truths that arise from the congress of realties, it is incumbent upon us to see the situation differently, so that we do not let the situation impede, impose upon and hinder our lives somehow. Either we must learn to compromise (often), accept the situation and be happy with it, accept the situation and move on, or make an effort to see it differently, in a positive light.

Perhaps more vital to living a happy and healthy life though, is our ability and willingness to act once we’ve realized a more positive truth. This is the hard part. Seeing things differently is one thing, doing something about it is another.

Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.
- Japanese Proverb -

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

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