Updated: Feb 14, 2021
Last weekend, I woke up earlier than usual, so I decided to go to one of the nearby country parks to see the sunrise. We arrived there at 7.06 am. The sun was already up, but I thought I would try my luck. In one part of the park, I saw a man with a camera, so I decided to check out what he was capturing. When I was close enough, I saw a red ball pop out from the water. I had never seen anything like it, so I asked the man: "Is this the moon?" The man was a bit annoyed with me and told me, "No, this is the sun." (Apparently, I was still half asleep.)
I was in awe as I had never seen anything like this before. I stood next to the man for the next 6 minutes to watch the sunrise. It was an amazing experience.
After 6 minutes, I thought I’d had enough, so I decided to walk around. For some reason, I looked back, and from a different angle, I could see a beautiful view of the sun amongst the leaves. I took a couple of pictures and then moved to the other side. I found another great angle from which to take photos of the sun. I think I moved to 3 different places to capture different angles of the sun before I decided to go home.
When I walked back to my car, I saw the man still standing there, recording the sun with his camera and phone. At first, I thought, ‘Wow…this man doesn’t know what he missed because there were other places to capture beautiful pictures of the sun. Perhaps, I should tell him about the other spots.’ But then I thought, ‘Maybe he purposely wants to capture the sun from one angle only.’
However, this reminds me of some of our habits in life:
Staying in one spot
Many of us have decided to stay in one spot in life. Some even defend their position in life even though that spot no longer serves them. The area can be a bad relationship or bad working conditions. However, we accept this as the total sum of our life; therefore, we do not explore different possibilities or different angles in life. Or perhaps that spot is not bad; however, we become complacent and, therefore, we miss out on a better location and greater possibilities.
2. Being consistent
The man also reminds me of the way we were taught to be consistent. We were told to always stick to our decisions. We were not supposed to change our minds, as that was considered flaky. But what if changing our minds or taking a different route in life is something necessary to ensure that we are up to date with the current situation?
3. Arguing about our point of view
Sometimes we argue because we insist on the rightness of our point of view. We look at one particular situation from one angle and insist that this is the best angle from which to view the situation. We consider everyone else to be wrong if they do not share our point of view.
4. Not letting other people make their own choices
When I walked past the man on my way back, I was close to telling him that he could use other angles to capture the sunrise. However, I stopped myself. What if he had explored different positions and decided that his current location served him best? Why would I force my opinion on him? So, I decided to let it go.
However, in reality, how often do we push our idea of what is right and what is wrong on other people? Sometimes, we do this without having all the information for making such an assessment. Further, whose standard are we using when we decide that something is good and something else is wrong?
I am very grateful for that short walk, as I got a couple of great pictures of the sunrise and a life lesson reminder.
So, note to myself:
- Explore different possibilities. Do not be afraid to change your mind and choose something different.
- Allow other people to make their own choices—and respect those choices.
Devi is graduated from HKU LLM. Human Rights Programme. She is a qualified coach and facilitator under the Dream Builder Programme of Mary Morissey and Access Consciousness.