One day, according to an old story, a man with serious illness was wheeled into a hospital room where another patient was resting on a bed next to the window. As the two became friends, the one next to the window would look out of it and then sped the next few hours delighting his bedridden companion with vivid descriptions of the world outside. Some days he would describe the beauty of the trees in the park across from the hospital and how the leaves danced in the wind. On other days, he would entertain his friend with step-by-step replays of the things people were doing as they walked by the hospital. However, as time went on, the bedridden man grew frustrated at his inability to observe the wonders his friend described. Eventually he grew to dislike him and then to hate him intensely.
One night, during a particularly bad coughing fit, the patient next to the window stopped breathing, Rather than pressing the button for help, the other man chose to do nothing. The next morning the patient who had given his friend so much happiness by recounting the sights outside the window was pronounced dead and wheeled out of the hospital room. The other man quickly asked that his bed be placed next to the window, a request that was complied with by the attending nurse. But as he looked out the window, he discovered something that made him shake; the window faced a stark brick wall. His former roommate had conjured up the incredible sights that he described in his imagination as a loving gesture to make the world of his friend a little bit better during a difficult time. He had acted out of selfless love.
This story never fails to create a shift in my own perspective when I think about it. To live happier, more fulfilling lives, when we encounter to difficult circumstance, we must keep shifting our perspective and continually ask ourselves, “Is there a wiser, more enlightened way of looking at this seemingly negative situation?”
Stephen Hawking , one of the greatest physicist ever, is reported to have said that we live on a minor planet of a very average star located within the outer limits of one of a hundred thousand million galaxies. How’s that for a shift in perspective? Given this information, are your troubles really that big? Are the problems you have experienced or the challenges you might currently be facing really as serious as you have made them out to be?
We walk this planet for such a short time. In the overall scheme of things, our lives are mere blips on the canvas of eternity. So have the wisdom to enjoy the journey and savor the process.