Wednesday, January 7, 2009

expectation

Yes, at first blush, it would appear that I take a lot of photos while in the car. Worry not, I am not driving at the time.
Which made reactions to this photo really intriguing.
This is my speedometer at night. It was just glowing at me and I love the way the photo came out.
People who saw this photo asked me why I was going 120 mph and did I take it while driving. Funny that.
There is no little arrow thingy pointing to 120. I wasn't moving at all but a surprising number of people thought that I was going 120.
It made me think (shudder!).
How often do we see what we expect to in life? And if we are also seeing what we expect, what are we missing? Why do we make assumptions that what experience has shown us is what the future will show us? Life isn't stagnant. But then, maybe it is if we only see what we expect.
There is a great little story that Wayne Dyer, truly one of the most influential writers in my life, tells. I don't remember if this happened to him, if he made it up or it's a little parable. No matter because the message is the same.
A man is walking down the beach when another man approaches him. The second man says to the first "I just moved here. What are the people like?"
The first man says "Well, what were the people like where you came from?"
"Oh, they were horrible. Always in your business and not at all friendly."
The first man replied, "That's pretty much the way they are here, too."
The next day that same man was out walking again when a woman approached him.
"Good morning, sir" she said. "If you don't mind me asking, I just moved here and wondered what the residents are like?"
The man said "Good morning. Well, what were the people like where you came from?"
She smiled and said "Oh, they were wonderful! Really friendly, helpful and great neighbors!"
The man said "Well, that's pretty much the way they are here, too."
We find what we expect to.
We see a photo of a speedometer at 120 and think that the driver was traveling that fast. We see a person of a certain race, nationality, weight , age or gender and make some conclusion. I think of this as lazy thinking. I have definitely noticed more lazy thinking in myself as I have gotten older. Don't know why. But just the recognizing keeps me more aware of my thoughts. Keeps me more in the thought and makes me notice more around me. Helps me notice what is actually around me, not just what I expect.
And thank God for that because my imagination isn't always that entertaining!
There was a quote from "I heard the Mermaids Singing" that I love! One of the characters says
"Isn't life the strangest thing you have ever seen?"
Yup.

2 comments:

oddbird said...

i absolutely love this picture. it's something i would consider framing.

i like your insight about people seeing what they expect to see...when i first looked at it before reading your comments i actually thought freedom. it never occurred to me you were driving.

it's funny that most people would think that...sort of to your point it would seem everyone takes things at face value and it doesn't seem most people ever just feel what is being presented to them. it is what it is and nothing more.

but there is always more. take your foot off the break so to speak and open up the possibilities of what is there and what lies beyond.

HappySlug said...

Very profound, really. Simple and very true, but not obvious to as many people as you'd think. Just like most profound thoughts.