My daughter, Katie, made a comment a while ago which stayed with me. We were driving in the car and our discussion involved the way that people see things differently. As we drove, the talking faded away, and she was quiet. I figured the conversation was over, but a moment later she said, “Mommy, it’s just like a string.” Trying to follow her train of thought, I asked, “What’s like a string?’
She said, “The way people look at things. It’s like a string. Some people pick up a piece of string and see only string. They think it’s worthless. But, other people pick up the string and see something else. They see something useful that can tie things together, or that they can make something with. They use their imagination or tie it around their finger to remind them about something they have to do.”
I visualized that image while she finished her thought. “Some people see a string as being nothing, but other people see the same string as being something.”
Her ability to take an abstract idea and turn it into such a simple visualization amazed me. She summarized the conversation perfectly. The discussion stayed with me because she was absolutely right. Our perception of the same event, or the same conversation, or the same moment varies from person to person. One person interprets it one way and someone else sees the same thing so differently.
Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. It seems to me that he was a man who saw the ‘string’ as being something special. In fact, he gave his life fighting to change the perceptions of all the people who saw it as worthless. He was able to look past the social perceptions of the day and see something better. His fight against the tide of discrimination and prejudice took place in order to change what people had accepted as okay.
As we remember his work today, let us remember that we, too, have the ability to see that ‘string’ differently. There are numerous opportunities to see our glass as being half full instead of half empty. For every struggle, there is a lesson to be learned. For every trial, there are successes to be won. For every moment of sadness, there are hours of happiness to follow.
I hope you will consider this as you move through your week. Try and find moments when you can see something more than what appears before you. If you do, you might be surprised by what you learn.
Create a beautiful week!