Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Watching other lives

Yogi Berra said,"You can observe a lot just by watching." I think one can say that careful observation, maybe with notes made and pictures taken, can pay off.  It usually works best accompanied by thinking about what is seen.  Observation coupled with questioning and thoughtful analysis is often considered the fundamental tool of science, of furthering knowledge and understanding.

Most of the time, our moods and current situations have a grip on what we pay attention to, what we can observe.  I enjoyed this comic from the For Better or Worse strip the other day:


We have probably all seen how the sight of little kids, the presence of little kids, even the thought of little kids, puts us all in a state of increased awareness and sensitivity.  Even puppies, or kittens or fawns, with their evident caution and wonder, can change the filters we use to see and think and appreciate and exclaim.


You can use the link to see pictures of little kids.  Just the idea or image of them can get us observing the world differently.

It is not just primary school kids.  If you are in your 80's and you see people in their 20's or 30's, their age, habits and talk can put your own life in a perspective that develops from their presence.  I have known students in the 20-30 age bracket who feared reaching 40.  That age seemed like the beginning of stilted, joyless times.  Of course, we have a way of reaching the next age without having quite the soggy burden we feared.  

When I was hypnotized, I used as a goal "getting new eyes" - not better vision but more ability to harbor the wonder of the little kid.  As Oscar Wilde wrote, a child of seven finds a story of a boy opening a door to find a witch exciting but a child of 3 or 4 is excited by a boy opening a door, period.  Sometimes, I get helped by concentrating on the fact that THIS minute, whatever it contains, is unique, never came before and won't ever be again.

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby