"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
Henry David Thoreau.
So what is it that they were after when they go fishing? And do they know? What is it that we are all after? Is it the same or different to others around us in our world or is it just the way we describe it that makes it the same or different to us? When we reflect on many of the reasons why we do what it is we do, what answers do you come up with? Often we only ask these questions for the grand and heroic moments in our lives asking the big questions like why are we here? What was that all about? What does it mean? But sometimes just the very little things like a smile or a kiss a shout or a moment of tension the real reason is often a mystery to us, perhaps the answer to some of these questions lies with the smaller moments in our lives, maybe it lies within the daily routine, perhaps the answer lies within why we do what we do when no one is looking. Whilst we look to create an answer, looking for a cause rather than acceptance for some is the burden of being human, will often create a link and blame those around us without stopping to consider the bigger picture for a moment and our role within this. But whilst men who go fishing don't really go to fish, often our reaction to a situation is driven by something other than the moment we are in. As human beings we seem to have an ever-present desire so seek and immediate explanation of how we feel and to create a level of causality, which is outside of ourselves.
But when we go into a restaurant do we eat the menu? But it is the way we choose the food we will eat when we visit, making a very important decision about the next hour or so in our lives without actually knowing what the food will taste like. We choose based on someone else description or explanation of what it is we could eat. When we look at a map or read a guidebook we can gleam a massive amount of information about a place that we would like to visit. But to truly appreciate what the place is like we actually have to go there. To enjoy the sights and sound and the smell of what the place is truly like. To appreciate the true and full richness of the world in this place we have to go there and embrace the moment. There are some restaurants where the menu is simple and of poor quality but the food is exceptional and others where the situation is quite the opposite. There are also those restaurants where the description of the meal on the menu is very similar to another restaurant even occasionally the same. However, the quality of the food in each restaurant may be very, very different to each other.
So what does this mean for us? Especially when we are listening to those around us, when we are noticing other people's reactions to what we do. Often what is said isn't what is meant, but maybe the response that we get is what they think is meant.
This then leads possibly for us to put ourselves in a place where we perhaps need to give people the benefit of the doubt a little more often. Maybe people are doing the best they can with what it is believed to be true about this moment. Often this could be very very different to how other people may react or what they believe to be true. People react to what they believe you said or did, rather than what you actually believe you said or did.
Be gentle on yourself and others as they are often only reading the menu without really knowing the quality of the food. So maybe life is more about seeing the invisible, feeling the intangible will allow us to archive what we once said was impossible. Just may be perception is projection and we react to what we believe to be true. Getting caught up in the detail of the event rather than actually checking on the detail of the intention that sat behind someone’s actions. Mind reading can be a very dangerous game especially if you can’t actually read minds! Being gentle on ourselves and other and asking questions seems to be a better way to be in the world.