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The Man On The Moon

My father had flown into Houston, Texas, to have dinner with a friend who had just returned from the moon. His name was Jim Irwin.

Jim was one of the Apollo 15 astronauts; my father had known Jim his whole life.

There he was sitting accross the table from the man on the moon where he could ask any question he wanted about that amazing lunar trip.

Entrapped, he listened to every detail of Jim's journey. At some point he said, “Jim, out of all those experiences you had up there on the moon, what do you consider to be the single most exciting? Jim thought for a moment, and then responded, "that's a tough qeustion." After sevral more moments his eyes lit up and a visible wave of enthusiasm spread accross his face as he said, "Trapper, I’ll tell you what that one thing was. It was to orbit the moon and watch the earth rise."

"To see this magnificent planet of ours come up as a tiny blue and white marble, so small, infact, that you can reach out and cover it with your thumbnail. There is something about that experience which was quite compelling."

Then he followed up with these words that he would never forget. He said, "If you want to get life's problems, life's challenges in their proper perspective you should try that. Orbit the moon and watch the Earth rise. There is something about that experience that shrinks all of your problems down to size."

Jim left the earth and gained a fresh perspective on life. He returned from his journey altered and energized with a new outlook on time and dedicated the rest of his life until he died to the service of others.

This was a lesson of immerserable worth to my dad which he went on to call "the principle of perspective."

Sometimes we are so close to a situations, conditions, and life routines we fail to perceive our appreciate their infinite possibilities. A new perspective helps discover our options.

Perspective is how we see things.

A paradigm is a patterned wa y of thinking and seeing things or, a habitual perspective. In Irwin’s case, it was the planet. He lived here! However, when he was able to leave the planet and view it from a perspective and it changed his life. Our Earth appeared so small to him, he could reach out and cover it with his thumbnail.

This compelling moment, among other experiences, moved him to face the big question, "what's really important?" In the process of discovering his answer, he was changed. His previous patterned way of thinking and seeing things, his old paradigm, was gon forever. The point here, is your perspective can change in an instant by your own realization of what's truly important to you!

For me, it was when my father was diagnoised with terminal cancer. It was then, I realized the true value of three things. Time, energy, and personal choice.

What about you? Have you had an experiences in life, (good or bad) that have given you a new perspective? A different outlook on a situation, opportunity or condition?

There are many experiences that can give us a new perspective.

  • Traveling to a different country. Experiencing a new culture can open people's minds to a different way of living, thinking, and being.
  • Meeting people from different backgrtounds: Meeting people from diverse backgrounds can challeng people's assumptions and biases can help us see each other from a different perspective.
  • Challening life event: Overcoming a difficult event, such as a serious illness, the loss of a loved one, or major setback in one's career.
  • Learning a new skill: Learning a new skill such as a language, or musical instrument, can provide people with a sense of accomplishement and open up new opporunites and perspectives.
  • Volunteering or working with a charity: Helping other and giving back to the community can give you a personal perspective.
  • A significant life change: Getting married, having a child, or starting a new job can cuase people to reevaluate their priorities and seeing the world in a new way.

A valuable tip.

Take a step back and reflect. Sometimes when we're to close to a situation, it can be hard to see the big pictures. We get stuck in a moment. Step back and reflect on the situation. Write down your thoughs, feelings about it.

Think about what you've learned from the experience so far and how you can use that knowlege to move forward. This can hlep you gain clairty and a new perspective on the situation.

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