I spent most of my day writing one blog, then scrapping it and starting another. Neither of those blogs are ready to release into the wild. So here's a classic post from two years ago. I think it's really relevant today.
Last night there was a meteor shower. And all the shooting stars reminded me of a powerful lesson.
went outside around 1am, my StarWalk application in tow, and checked to
make sure I knew where to look in the sky. StarWalk had the meteors
shooting just to the left of Jupiter and a bit lower in the sky. This
was a good thing and bad thing. The good thing is that my view is
relatively clear in that region of the sky. The bad thing is that, while
only a half moon, the moon was very bright last night and positioned
beneath Jupiter when I was out there. Ideally, you want a darker sky.
I got myself all comfy and glanced casually out where I was supposed to
look. I didn't want the shooting stars to think I was desperate or
needy or anything. There were supposed to be as many as 50 per hour, so I
thought it was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. But after
about 15 minutes, I saw nothing.
then I decided to stare squarely at a point in the eastern sky,
unblinking, as long as I could. Still nothing. By now, about a half hour
has passed. I tend to see stuff in the corner of my eye, so I think I
might have seen something, but there was nothing conclusive. So then I
figured that maybe the moon was just too bright and they were too close
to where the moon was in my field of vision to be seen. So I laid back
and looked at all the stars directly overhead. It was a beautiful
seconds of laying my head back, however, I saw the most spectacular
shooting star make a long, lingering arch across the sky. No doubt about
it. I saw one! But before I was done making my wish, I saw another!
that all that time, I had been looking in the wrong part of the sky. I
had limited myself to what I knew—or thought I knew—about the Geminids
meteor shower and I invested fully in that knowledge. But that knowledge
turned out to be fruitless. I didn't see a shooting star until I put
aside what I knew and looked at the sky from another perspective.
see this all the time, don't we? We even do it ourselves. We're so sure
of something—so invested in our perspective being right—that we see it
as the only way. But looking at things from another perspective doesn't
have to mean you're wrong. It just means you're broadening your view of
something. And as long as you hold on tightly to what you "know", you
may be cheating yourself out of something quite special.
truest thing I know about life is that none of us holds the truth about
anything. We hold just one piece of the truth, a piece viewed from our
unique viewpoint. But staring at, and knowing, and being certain about
your part of the cosmos doesn't mean you understand the cosmos. The next
time you're sure of something, remember that the magic comes not from
being certain, but from opening yourself up to a part of the sky you
never thought to look at. That's where the streaks of new enlightenment
can be found, arching their way across the sky.