A question that has always made me wonder…
If myself and one other person are looking at the same situation, do we see it the same way?
I have dreams that show a location in my house and I see the location in a different way. For 17, almost 18 years of my life, I’ve felt the same way about the landing on my stairs. When I see it, stand on it, think about it, I feel this certain way about it. But in a reoccurring dream, I see the landing on my stairs differently. I don’t only have this dream about my stairs, but every location in my house. I find it very strange. My kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and hallway are in the same place in both feelings, but I view them so differently that it feels like two different houses.
It has been several years since I’ve had this dream, but it sticks with me. I remember it vividly. In fact, today I was reminded of it while walking through the hallway at school. It made me start thinking about how every student of my high school views their typical school day. It’s obvious that each student has different classes and different problems and different lives outside of school. But the fact is, we all walk through the same hallways and park in the same parking lots and hear the same morning announcements. So my question is, can two students view the same place in totally different ways? And as I was thinking about this walking down the hallway, it occurred to me that this happens all the time.
I realize that every human being has been through different experiences—some tragic, some pleasant, some depressing, some exciting. We have all been walking down different paths that lead us to this present moment. But I believe it’s our views about these moments that make up our lives. It makes me cringe when someone says, “Yeah Jimmy had a really terrible childhood, it’s no wonder he has discipline problems in school.” I don’t think that statement is entirely accurate. Although I feel sorry that Jimmy had a terrible childhood, Jimmy might just be the most intelligent, courageous, thoughtful person ever. He might make a difference in the lives of others. He might be hiding behind the shield that allows him to misbehave instead of being held accountable for his actions. Jimmy’s life could be “good” or it could be “bad” all based on the way he views his life. Does he want to be successful? Does he want to break out of the bad childhood to become a strong independent man who can conquer his dreams? Jimmy’s life, consisting of the same events, can be either wonderful or terrible depending on his view of his life, just like in my dream.