Perspective on Life


If two people are involved, I have always thought there were three sides to a story. Each person has their own take on the situation, and somewhere in the middle is probably the truth. I am not suggesting that every one lies of course. What I am saying though, is that each person has their own view. Regardless of who we are, we all have a perspective on the events that unfold in our lives.

Two people can see the same scene, but they may not necessarily have the same image in their head. Their perspective can be completely different. And based on their values, moods, experiences and vantage points, they may have a completely different view than the other person looking at the same thing.

For example, take a look at the iPhone pictures below. They are all taken within just a few feet of each other. I was standing on a pier in Jamaica in May and staring at the sunset. It was breathtaking. So I walked around taking different views of the moment. None of them are a lie. None of them are wrong. They are just different.

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Of course, for this challenge (Sally D’s Phoneography Challenge ~ Editing and Processing), I enhanced the pictures a bit in Photoshop. Each of them are either saturated or desaturated in color and adjusted for brightness and contrast. The facts of the pictures are still the same, but I tweaked them. To me, editing a picture is similar to what we do to our memories. We apply our own “filters” to the scenes in our head. We use our experiences to translate the moment. And we gauge the situation with our knowledge. Once we put all those factors into the mix, our perspective on the scene could be entirely different than the person at our side.

Knowing and respecting the difference in perspectives is critical in relationships too. If you can try to visualize the scene from someone else’s perspective, their actions may just make more sense. We could appreciate another point of view. We may learn something new. Or, we might just find their stance more appealing. But even if we found none of those things, just imagine what the world could be like if we all took the time to at least view the world through the eyes of another. We just may act with more compassion and understanding.

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For Sally D’s post this week, click here.

Simple, Pure and Sweet


I find that I am drawn to simple, pure and sweet things. There is no need for fancy, elaborate things in my life. Sure, I enjoy beauty and finery. I am simple saying, I do not need those things to be happy.

After having spent a few years of my life deployed to foreign countries, I have seen poverty. I have seen real need. So I have learned to treasure the small things in life. Now, if you look at these two pictures, you may think, Godiva is not simple. Perhaps. But, the particular treat I was drawn to was just some berries in a chocolate bowl and topped with drizzle. To me, that was simple. It was pure. And, it was definitely sweet. Compared to the much more elaborate baked goods and chocolates, this was the most appealing to me.

It made me realize, this is a theme I carry out in other areas of my life as well. I crave simplicity. I hate when people overcomplicate things. I avoid elaborate plans. My theory is make it simple and make it count. This theory can be applied to nearly every facet in life too: eating habits, loving relationships, work plans, and friendships. For me, it is how I choose to embrace life. For if I cannot appreciate what little wonders are before me, why would God ever trust me with more?

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Challenger’s Choice (Food).

The Value of Character


As I have grown, I have realized the importance of character. Some people have it. Others do not. Frankly, I prefer those who do and avoid those who don’t.

Character is hard to explain exactly though. According to one dictionary site, character is the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. In Greek, a kharaktēr was a stamping tool, used to give something a distinctive mark. To me, character is what defines a person, what makes them unique and most importantly, what guides their actions.

Martin Luther King once said he looked forward to the day when all Americans would be judged solely “by the content of their character,” he was talking about a person’s important qualities. For if you rate people solely on their beauty, job title or wealth, you may find that they are not really people you want to be around. They may not have the same values you do. They may not act with a similar moral compass.

Throughout life, I have found character is critical. The people who have it seem to succeed. Those who don’t, eventually fail. Sometimes it takes awhile for someone’s true character to show, but it usually does. A military leader, General Lucian K. Truscott explained it well. “Character as we used to say when I was in elementary school, is what you are. Reputation is what others think you are. The reason that some fail to climb the ladder of success, or of leadership if you want to call it that, is that there is no difference between reputation and character. The two do not always coincide. A man may be considered to have sterling character. Opportunity might come to that man; but if he has the reputation for something he is not, he may fail that opportunity. I think character is the foundation of successful leadership.”

So what does all of this have to do with my pictures below? Well, when deciding what to write about the iPhone macro shots, I searched the symbolism on lilies. I came upon one site that stated lilies meant: “honor, majesty, purity of heart, sympathy and pure soul resurrection.”  And that their symbolism was to remind us that “our good deeds do not need to be seen by a lot of people and we do not need to tell everyone about them.”

To me, that all said character. Now, when I look at the details of the lily, I have more meaning, more value. I see the majesty of the petals’ bold colors as the beauty in someone’s life. It changes as we grow, fading from one phase (color) to the next. The flower’s core, where the petals meet, are the purity of one’s heart. For the intention of people’s actions come from their heart. All things start from there as in this lily. The stamens are like the good deeds to me. You don’t need to point them out. They will be noticed by others without one boastful word. The speckled dots of color on the petals look like tears to me. Tears of sympathy and pain we all surely have through life. But the thing is, as we learn with age, some of our pain fades (hopefully the sympathy doesn’t). Like on the petals, the dots of pain (color) fade and almost blend into one color it seems. It’s not that we don’t feel pain later in life, we have just simply learned betters ways to cope and understand it. And with faith, we are new people, resurrected to know the pain of this life is only temporary. So we can endure.

My lilies seem to endure quite well. They are hearty and thrive in nearly all conditions, and I guess its because they have character. I think I will always look at them differently now.

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For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge.