From time to time when traffic is heavy and my patience is light, I get off the main highway and take the back roads to work. I’m not really sure why, but for some reason, I never choose to do this on the return trip.
Recently, due to an errand, I had the occasion to take these back roads on my trip home. I took the same route that I often take to work but in reverse. I drove the same streets, at the same speeds. Everything was the same except I was going in a different direction.
It was strange to me that everything felt so foreign, so different. Roads and neighborhoods that I frequently travel somehow seemed new to me. I saw gas stations and stores that I did not know were there. I saw homes, flowers and trees that I had not seen before. I was amazed by how many things I had passed a hundred times but had not seen. I wondered how many other things I might have missed.
It occurred to me that how we view the world and what it has to offer depends on where we stand or where we view it from. We see things differently depending upon how far away we are, how high or low we are or even which house or side of the street we are on.
The way we view the world is also colored or influenced by the things we learn, the people we know and the experiences that we have. We cannot see our street or our world from exactly the same perspective as our neighbor across the street, down the road or on the other side of town. We cannot stand in exactly the same spot or have exactly the same view or experiences as another.
While we cannot have exactly the same life experiences, interact with exactly the same people or occupy exactly the same spot as another person, we can try to be more understanding, more empathetic and more compassionate to those around us. We can attempt to see the world through eyes of another.
We may not occupy the same spot, the same street or even the same country, but we all occupy the same world and we are all children of the kind, wise and loving Heavenly Father who created it.
If only we could all view the world and each other the way that He does…