Thursday, April 26, 2007

Can You See What's Right In Front Of You?

There has many times in life I've overlooked something important that was right in front of my nose. I'm some times looking too far ahead. This has happened to me while I'm birding as well. I can remember someone saying to me on more than one occasion "Did you see that ---- bird back there?" -My answer - a dejected "No- I guess I missed it.
It doesn't stop with birds. I even stepped on a snake once while I was searching for birds.

The reason I've missed some birds was that I focusing enough attention to what was right in front of me. I always had that feeling that there was going to be something better just around the corner. This was especially true after I became familiar with most of the more common birds. I was bitten by the seeing-a- new- species- bug.

I know that I'm not the only one to do this. Someone told me a story about some birders who were lined up along a shore point. They were looking for a group of rare birds. (can't remember what they were). Apparently these birds had been right below them. They were so close, that they didn't even need binoculars to see them. -Have you, or anyone you've known, been guilty of looking past birds that were right in front of you?

Recently, I've tried to slow down again so that I can try to appreciate each moment. I consciously move more slowly when I'm birding at a single location.

Today, at work, I was removing some old papers that a former employee had previously posted on the wall above his desk. Unfortunately the employee, Hakeem passed away several months ago from cancer (he was 29). I don't want to dwell on his death. Instead, I would like to share with you something positive that he left behind.

He had two quotations posted on the wall from a man named Charles Swindoll. I think I briefly read them once, after he first put them up. I know that I've passed by them many times without giving them a second look.
-anyway here is one of them:

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes."


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Larry- I think Hakeem left you a tremendous gift. I've heard, read and discussed those thoughts but have never read them presented with such power and clarity.

Thank you very much for sharing that discovery with us.

Larry said...

These ideas are not new to me either but I always like see them
presented in new ways.

Cathy said...

Larry - This is so powerful. 29? So young - so very young. I imagine losing a co-worker like that makes you slow down. And yes. I, too, have learned to appreciate the beauty of even the simple birds while others are racing head-long down the boardwalk to check off another species for the day. I've dwelt for long minutes just watching a kinglet plying the undersides of leaves for tidbits.

Larry said...

Cathy-It is nice to take your time with birding and I suppose you're right. The death of someone young sometimes does make you stop to smell the roses (or bruised marigolds).

Ruth said...

The 90-10 ratio is very thought provoking. It may explain why many talented/beautiful/gifted people mess up their lives so dramatically. Good food for thought.

Larry said...

Food for thought is lower in calories too!