By Kimberlea Chabot
A few weeks ago I started taking rowing classes on the Hartford river through Riverfront Recapture. In the early mornings before class, I always pause for a few moments on my front patio watching the sunlight slowly fill the sky and illuminate the Hartford skyline in the distance. As I drive down my driveway, through my town and into Hartford, the buildings become closer as I make my way to the boathouse. Standing beside the river, the skyscrapers tower above, earning their name.
I could describe what the buildings look like at sunrise and sunset. I could explain what they look like from the river. It would be easy to say, “Yes, yes, I know all about these skyscrapers as they are a part of my everyday scenery now.” However, I have never stepped foot in one of these buildings. I am not the guy who cleans the top ten floors and works the nightshift. Does he look out through the large panes of glass, wondering what it is like to be near the river? He might be waiting at the bus stop or walking home when I first arrive for my morning class. I am also not the woman wearing a business suit, who steps out of the elevator, arriving before anyone else. Does she have time to look at the river? She might be waiting for her fifty-plus employees to arrive when I am leaving to go back home.
Perspective. We each have our own unique perspective. We find it through our environment and our experiences, creating a lens to see the world. It can be tempting to claim our own story as THE truth. it is so easy to do. It is comforting, familiar. But when we decide our own story is the only story that can be possibly true than we risk not being able to connect with others who have a different story. We start to protect our own version so tightly that we won't let anyone else’s story seep into our own. Our foundation can start to fill with self-righteousness and disregard for others.
Today, I am simply looking for ways to be reminded that my story is not the only truth. I will be adding a dose of humility and a reminder to do all things with love in my heart. I will listen to other people's stories and share my own, creating more expansion for us both.
A lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands. Her mother came in, smiled, and softly asked her little daughter: “My sweetie, could you give your momma one of your two apples?" The girl looked up at her mom for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite out of one apple, and then quickly out of the other. The mother felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment. Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mom, and said: “Momma, here you are. This is the sweeter one.” ~Author Unknown