How We See the World

I’ve been reading “12 Rules for Life” at a very slow pace recently, one section at a time so I can really ponder and digest it. By section, I mean the few paragraphs that come after a heading, not a chapter. I don’t know what that’s called, officially. Anyway, yesterday I was reading about how our brains have to break the world apart into objects. We never truly see the world as it is, only how we were raised to see it.

For example, I see a car as a vehicle for getting me from point A to point B quickly, not as a complex system of machines and metal forged by at least a hundred different people, not to mention the ancestral line of engineers that led to the modern technology in my particular car. We can’t see the world this way, we’d go insane. There’s just too much information.

Think about it: every single thing that happens in your day is the result of an almost infinite (may as well be infinite for how complicated it is) web of other events, people, things, etc. Suppose you just want to buy a gallon of milk! You have to walk on pavement that was put there by somebody, made from materials that somebody else made. Yet another person had to decide that pavement needed to go there because even more people decided that where you are at should be a city or town. We’ve barely even gotten out your front door (and don’t get me started on doors)!

I think that part of success in life is understanding that how we see things isn’t necessarily how they truly are. We also have to take into consideration how other people view things when we’re speaking to them. I may see broccoli as a superfood and essential to every meal and the person I’m discussing dietary choices with sees it as poison-flavored bark.

I’d like to try to look at the big picture more often. Not too much, because as I said it can drive us insane, but in situations that seem like they’re important. Even here on WordPress, my followers and the people I follow are a diverse group of people with different beliefs, cultures, and personalities. It’s truly a miracle that we don’t all verbally tear each other to pieces over every single word we say.

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