The facts surrounding events in our lives matter little. What matters are the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening around us. For example:
It was a stunningly beautiful day and I was driving along Ecuador’s Pacific Coast “Ruta del Sol” passing the fishing village of San Lorenzo. A visiting “gringo” friend was riding with me. She noticed the fishermen selling lobsters and crabs along the road.
“What a difficult life they must have.” She frowned. “Fishing all night, selling their catch for pennies during the day. Look at those poor cabañas they live in. Shouldn’t that seafood be on ice?”
OUCH! How could we perceive this moment so differently? I’d always thought of the fishermen more poetically as uncomplicated people in touch with the rhythms of nature, living along balmy beaches with close families working together.
Ice? Really? I was dreaming about beer on ice with fresh lobsters and crabs!
We were seeing the moment from contrasting perspectives. My story was crabs and cold beer. My friend would say she was being a “realist,” but I think her story missed the sunshine in favor of an expected ending.
I do agree that the fishermen have a demanding job. But they don’t seem to tell themselves its work. They just say they’re going fishing.
Funny thing about perspective –
Nothing is REALLY work unless you tell yourself it is.
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