“Always remember that the future comes one day at a time.”
― Dean Acheson

On the continued theme of  presence and mindfulness, I found the short video below to be fascinating and compelling.  In some ways, it tells us only what we already know – we humans have been having an impact on the evolution of the Earth for a ridiculously small percentage of the overall time that it has existed.  But there is no harm in being reminded of this; it creates a space in which we can ask ourselves ‘how much does this really need to bother me’ when faced with something seemingly difficult in our lives.

I had a profound experience a few years ago when Hub and I visited the site of Skara Brae on the Scottish island of Orkney.  This Neolithic village, over 5,000 years old, highlights in the most stunning way that the individuals living there at this time were not so very different to ourselves.  Walking around the excavated houses, looking at the stone furniture and ornaments which had clearly been so loving crafted, was incredibly moving and emotional.  It certainly brought home to me that any problems such as trying to clear my e-mails were utterly insignificant.

Of course, there are times when we face major hurdles, obstacles and tragedies.  These are not to be trivialised.  But, for the most part, our worries are small:  short-term; superficial; inconsequential.  My dear, wise mother has a helpful ‘will it matter in 10 years’ time’ mantra.  Give it a try the next time you have a concern – I guarantee you will find that in most cases the answer will be a happy ‘no’!   🙂

16 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. NIce post, Liz, and so true. Very helpful to me right now, embroiled in family crises. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

    I love the saying on your header – have you just changed it or have I been totally blind until today?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sandra! And yes the header is new – I had a ‘blog-fail’ over the weekend (eeek!) so had to go for a new theme etc. At least it prompted me to find that Thoreau quote so not all bad. V sorry to hear about your family troubles – I hope things settle soon x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It certainly gives a sense of perspective ok! There is a very similar idea by Carl Sagan in The Dragons of Eden. He portrays all time since the Big Bang as a calendar year. The first humans start to develop at 11pm., with the Roman Empire at 11:59:56, the Renaissance at 11:59:59, and everything after that as now, the last second of the year. I know what you mean about Skara Brae – I felt the same when looking at some 15,000 year old cave paintings underground in France.
    But I mourn the oystercatchers!! The sadness that you have removed them!! *sob*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure the oystercatchers will be back at some point. Something went wrong with my blog over the weekend & I could find neither my original theme nor my oystercatchers photo!! So I decided to go for a fresh look for a while… 😀

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  3. That video gave me a bit of the chills! It’s both awe-inspiring and a little scary to think about how little we are in the grand scheme of the world, let alone the universe. But I completely agree with your message. Our egos have the tendency to make the slightest annoyance seem important. Widening our perspective can go a long way in stopping this.

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  4. I don’t think I have ever been quoted before, Liz. Thank you for that! When I was at Clevedon School (13+ years ago now) the children were taught the passing of the eons of time with an A4 worksheet. It was black and white and showed a pie chart with a tiny slice depicting the presence of man on earth. I hope the teachers use such things as your graphic video these days to discuss humanities, nature and conservation. We have rocketed from the Stone Age to now and I am sure all who read your blog will want to appreciate the precious things around us. Xx

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  5. I would love to visit Skara Brae! My husband keeps promising me a Scottish holiday and then forgets and books us a holiday elsewhere!
    It is always good to put everything in perspective. It is humbling when we find that things function very well without our imput – good for the soul perhaps? I have to tell myself very often that the things I fuss and fuss about are really not that important but I am a little OCD and I don’t listen very often 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Clare, you would adore all aspects of Orkney, I’m sure. Let’s hope that naughty husband of yours manages to book something soon 🙂 And I love that idea of listing (or not) to ourselves – so important, yet so hard to do!!

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