Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Point of view
I remembered something today that I thought was really enlightening and clever. Many years ago the whole family was riding in the car. I think we were going on vacation somewhere. My mom brought some cookies for everyone, but there was only enough cookies so that everyone could have four cookies. Within the first part of the trip she handed everyone one cookie. A little while later, when she was asleep, I sneaked a cookie. I didn't think she would be able to tell if one was missing, and nobody else noticed. However, when it came time again for the next round of cookies, either she noticed or someone else noticed that there was one missing. I confessed to sneaking one, and as a punishment I only got one more cookie instead of my two that were left for me.
Now, I think most people at this point will feel cheated or a little jealous of my siblings who gloated over their cookies. They had three more to eat and I only had one. But I decided that I would try an experiment. I pretended that there were only two cookies total. I stole the first cookie, and my mom was so proud of me for stealing it that she rewarded me with another cookie. I could just pretend that my siblings didn't get any cookies and that I got two. You see, I get two cookies either way, and whether I'm satisfied with what I have was mostly dependent on how I compared myself with others. It's your whole point of view of the world that makes the difference, not what you actually physically have.