What type of lens we use to look at the world determines what we choose to see and think about what is around us. Our “lens” brings certain things into focus, while other things become blurred. We are quick to look around us and to measure our success by what we want to see.
Here is a story of a young man learning a lesson about riches and poverty:
One day a young man of a very wealthy family took a trip to the other side of the world to see how other people lived in poorer countries. The young man’s grandfather had sent him on this journey of discovery.
The young man spent a couple of days and nights on a small farm in a rural part of the country watching this very poor family scratch out an existence on a small plot of land. On his return trip home, the young man’s grandfather asked what he had seen on his trip.
“It was unbelievable,” the young man stated. “I cannot believe how poor people can be and live,” the young man stated. “Tell me what you saw,” the grandfather asked.
The young man answered, “I saw that they had no pool, no electricity, no entertainment center, no Internet, no car, no social media, no electronics; it was bad.”
The grandfather thought for a minute and then said, “You have a pool that reaches to the middle of your yard, but they have a creek that never ends.”
“You have gas lights in your garden, but they have stars at night.”
“You have a wall around your house, but they can see the whole horizon.”
“You live on a small piece of land, but they have fields that go beyond their sight.”
“You go on a trip by car from point A to point B, but they go on journeys.”
“You have servants that serve you, but they serve others.”
“You have walls and a security system around your property to protect you, but they have neighbors to protect them.”
“You have 82-inch big screen TVs to watch, but they tell stories.”
“You are on Facebook and social media, but they have friends.”
“You have parties, but they celebrate.”
“You say thank you, but they give thanks.”
“You like stuff, but they have gratitude.”
The young man was quiet, and then the grandfather added, “You are rich or poor in life by the smiles around you, friends you make, people you are with, ideas you have, and dreams you chase, and the love you spread, not by things.”
Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless object is another person’s prize possession. What we see is based on the lens we use and how we view the world.