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  • Writer's pictureDavid Brady

The Forest Through The Trees

Picture yourself standing in front of a wall, what do you see?  If you’re staring at this wall for long enough what do you start to think?  If you’re exposed to the same thing for long periods it has a habit of making you start to think that is reality or better yet it has a way of helping you create a smaller reality.  Now picture yourself backing up so that you can see the full picture; you’re not just staring at the wall you’re observing the surroundings, you’re seeing over the high horizon, you’re taking in everything and your sense of reality is larger. 

When we observe one thing for long periods we tend to develop a myopic view. We start to have this feeling that what we are engrossed in is the most important thing that’s taking place.  Somehow this thing begins to permeate other aspects of our life.

Being able to take a step back and see the bigger picture gives us a better understanding of how more than one thing is at play in our lives and the lives around us. 

The word echo chamber is thrown around a lot but it is an important understanding that who or what you surround yourself with influences how you’re going to view the world.  I think Seneca said it best and I’ll abbreviate as not to go on forever, “So long as you associate with a person who is constantly grasping at money you will also grasp money, as long as you keep arrogant company you’ll be full of conceit, and cruelty you’ll never say goodbye to while you share the same roof with a torturer.” 

I recently had the opportunity to listen in on a conversation with a leader in the field of Philosophy today.  I was shocked by his lack of self-diagnosis in these matters.  Perhaps a better term for it is self-awareness of the situation.  This person was so consumed by the political winds of the season that he was unable to see that what they were espousing was in direct opposition to everything they said they stood for.  Having become so singular focused on the current situation they were unable to see the larger picture and how it compares and contrasts with history.

Remember to always take a step back to see the bigger picture.   Perhaps you may have a different view of things and maybe things won’t seem as dire as they first appeared to be.  Given some time and a larger frame of reference you may even be able to come up with other solutions to your perceived problem.  Remember, even out of the seemingly greatest defeats the tides of fortune can be turned in your favor.

As always if you would like to explore these ideas further reach out to us.

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