19 July 2011

A New Look

Sometimes all that things in our lives need in order to become something new and different is for us to take a new look at them.  When we get used to them and start taking them for granted, or when we stop seeing them for the special and unique things that they are, we can lose our sense of perspective.  We can lose our appreciation for their beauty, their uniqueness, their specialness.  But they don’t really lose those things at all–we simply stop seeing them because we’re so caught up in seeing them in the ways that we think they should be.

In the movie Dead Poets Society, one of the characters does a good job of reframing something for a friend of his.  When the friend’s parents buy him the exact same desk set for his birthday that they had bought him a year earlier, he finds humor in the situation and convinces his friend that the desk set is very aerodynamic–and gets him to throw it off the roof to make him feel better.  The desk set didn’t change at all, but by reframing the set and the situation, the young man is able to make a depressing time much more bearable for his friend.

Sometimes all we need is reframing for ourselves.  When we stop seeing the specialness in a spouse or another family member, perhaps it’s time to try to see that person through someone else’s eyes.  When we get tired of our car, it can be time to start thinking of life without a car, or with the first car we ever had.  Trying to imagine how something would look through the eyes of a child can be very helpful–after all, kids still have that ability to feel the sense of wonder that can make something look much more special than it is–or even exactly as special as it is.

In our culture, we tend to think that when something has run its course, when we get tired of something, then it’s time to replace it.  I think that our lives could be much simpler and fulfilling if we stopped replacing so many things and simply learned how to look at things with new eyes, and with new appreciation for the qualities that we liked in them in the first place.

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