To observe means we take a new, appropriate mental position in whatever situation, or in whatever relationship, we find ourselves. Observation is a silent skill — a skill we need to learn if we are to assess clearly what positive changes are needed to be made in the self in a particular situation or relationship.
If we fail to learn this art of observing, we are likely to react and absorb ourselves in the negativity of the person, or event. We get lost in the quicksand ofwhat’s wrong? which prevents us from putting things right. As we absorb and fill ourselves with negative emotion, we become heavy and remain helplessly rooted to the ground. The gravity of overload does not allow us to rise above a situation and to understand the reality of what is happening. As a result, we lose perspective and overreact.
If we wish to understand how the mental position of observation gives us the power of perspective, we can look at the example of the bird and the ant. The ant, extremely busy, running here and there, scrambling over everything in its rush to find and collect food, will see only what is in front of its nose. The bird, on the other hand, leaves the earth and, as it flies higher and higher, starts to see the bigger picture, compared to when it was on the ground, or on the branch of a tree. Seeing the whole picture, it has a completely different perspective. It is only then that it can truly see where to go and what to do. When we get absorbed in a situation or relationship, we lose perspective, we are like the ant, we get too involved in the details, missing the obvious, and cannot imagine, or think of other possibilities.
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