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perspective in 2023

""once upon a time, a farmer had a valuable horse run away.

“bad news!” said the people.

“Good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.

later, the horse returned to the farm with many wild horses accompanying it.

“good news!” said the people.

“good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.

some time after that, the farmer’s son fell and broke his leg while trying to train one of the wild horses.

“bad news!” said the people.

“good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.

soon after, the army came through town conscripting all able-bodied young men, and the farmer’s son was passed over.

“good news!” said the people.

“good news, bad news, who knows?” replied the farmer.""

-one of many paraphrases of a parable

this parable is essentially saying life offers up both the good and the bad. but those who can rise above letting circumstances dictate their feelings and, instead, always hope for the best will have the best perspective as they move forward in 2023.

i don't know about you but i have the bad habit of "looking at glass half empty". i shouldn't be that way. i've had my share of bumps in life through the years but don't we all? if i were to be honest, my life has been a blessing compared to others. but for some reason, i tend to go right to the "worst case scenario" as my wife would say.

it doesn't matter whether we are going through a period of bliss in our lives or a period of difficulty. the key is perspective - our way of looking at things. my wife and i will look at the same thing and have completely opposing perspectives.

if we are looking at a potentially difficult situation or if we are in the middle of one, my wife will usually try to be optimistic; i tend to veer right into pessimism and disguise it by saying it is "reality". why? i don't know...what i do know is it's all about choice; it's all about, again, perspective. she chooses to focus on having a positive attitude and trusting the end result will be for the good. i couldn't point out what particular thing or things happened in my life to ingrain in myself an attitude of pessimism when life gets hard. but that is my normal reaction. now...sometimes she is the one that gets discouraged and i am optimistic but that's not the norm.

it's like these two images i'm sharing here. they are both, in a way, looking at the same thing; it's just that the perspective is flip-flopped. one is looking at the minnesota state capitol with the cathedral of st. paul in the background. the other is looking at the cathedral with the state capitol in the background. both are incredibly beautiful and amazing architectural gems. my bet, though, is that one perspective will be preferred over the other. one person's choice will not be another person's choice. it's the same thing in looking at the glass half full or half empty. it's a choice based on the perception of how we choose to look at something.

the first image here showcases the state capitol in the foreground with the cathedral of st. paul in the background to the left of the capitol. i made this image as part of a small photography workshop group where I was allowed to watch the leader (i have thoughts about maybe leading photography workshops myself someday) and help him as needed. i really like the ice field leading outward toward the capital. it symbolizes, to me, the current "landscape" of the usa. it is pitted and slippery; it requires careful navigation through our politically and culturally divisive nation based on our personal beliefs. however, the capitol rises like a beacon in the night. regardless of the current political and cultural atmosphere at the local and federal level and our personal feelings about them, the capitol should be a reminder to us all that we live in a democracy that allows us freedoms we should never take for granted.

this second image is the flip side of the coin so to speak. here the cathedral of st. paul is in the foreground with the state capitol in the background. this is an amazing and imposing structure! see the car almost dead center of the cathedral to get a sense of the scale of this majestic building. the atmospheric conditions added a great ambience to this image. the clouds have blanketed the sky and take on the glow of the city lights. there is just a touch of fog in the air as well lending a softness to the image. our personal beliefs regarding faith and religion will play a big role in how our perspectives are shaped. for me personally, with my habit of seeing the glass half empty, it's an ongoing drive to replace that with the glass half full perspective because of my personal faith journey.

i just told my wife recently that i want to work on not being as negative in 2023. she said, "oh no honey! don't do that! i love you for your "realistic" look at life!" okay...who am i kidding? she didn't say that. she loves me no matter what but you can bet that statement made her have hope i will change! now, it's one thing to say i will do something. i need to follow through on it as well. i've been the way i am overall long enough that she needs to see proof of it. she needs to see that i am trying to see the glass half full and not half empty.