Monday, 21 November 2011

The Eye of the Beholder

Gardenias in my courtyard, this afternoon, before the storm

Our eyes ‘see’ the world around us, but our brain moulds that image. It is our brain that determines what we make of the image our eyes collect: what we focus upon; what we include in our field of vision; whether we pay attention to the periphery, as well as to the centre.

Do we see in a range of colours, or in shades of grey? Do we see the disabled, or just the able-bodied? Do we include the aged in our vision, or filter then out completely? Are we aware enough to include the aged and the young in equal focus, looking to the past as much as to the future?

Sometimes it is said that a squeaky wheel gathers the most oil; that the customer is always right; that money buys happiness; that the grass is greener on the other side. Is our mindfulness mindlessly shaped by cliché , or are we able to assess each situation afresh?

Into our daily discourse strides a battlement mentality: we batten the hatches; we pull up the drawbridge; we protect our own, and see off the invader. An ‘us versus them’ mindset pervades, which divides society into three groups along socio-economic lines: the ‘haves’ who are increasing their stranglehold on global wealth; the ‘have-nots’ who are increasingly requiring/demanding social support; and, the burgeoning ‘aspirationals’, desperate to continue up the ladder, rather than down the slippery slope.

I am not a member of any political party: neither Liberal, nor Labor, nor Green. I do not understand ‘Occupy Wall Street’ let alone support it. I would like the world to make space for both India AND China. I do support education and informed mindfulness over and above ignorance, and bigotry. I wish for people to check their facts, prior to opening their mouth.


Tena Russ said...

A terrific post. Thank you!

Kay L. Davies said...

You are very wise, Julie.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Kate said...

In obvious and subtle ways we are people of our culture, in addition to members of the human race. You ask good questions; I give a lot of credence to instinct, imagination, and curiosity that help shape us but I believe in the power of the sub-conscious that often exerts terrific forces on us in shaping our world view and behavior. Forces which we may neither recognize nor understand. Oh, how I love these exchange of ideas and values.

I particularly like the pairing of the fresh and new with the fading and old.

diane b said...

You are being deep today, Julie. I love your thoughts and frankness. It is late afternoon now and I'm not inspirational at this time. Mornings are better for my ageing brain. I believe you are right when you say the brain dictates what we see. Many people don't see disabled or grey people. We become invisible.
We did a session on flower photography at our last cc meeting. Taking dead flowers was mentioned as an interesting subject matter. You have created it here well especially by changing the focus which adds to your statement. Great post Julie.

NixBlog said...

Beautiful photographs and post.

Joe said...

A very thought provoking post Julie.

brattcat said...

this particular post today is a perfect autobiography, julie.

Joan Elizabeth said...

There is always reward in being more aware.

Breathtaking said...

Hi Julie
One of the things I dislike most is
small mindedness,looking but not seeing beyond the obvious is all too common.
Your beautifully illustrated piece
is thought provoking and as usual
such a good post.