Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is What I Know

What I know:

I know that people almost always surpass their own expectations when they push themselves.

What I don't know:

I don't know what makes people push themselves?

I know that you can ask ten photographers to photograph the same subject and you'll get ten very different photos. I don't know what makes people look at the world so differently.

I know that there will be at large group of runners out on Saturday morning to run 22k.  I don't know why some of them will have a fabulous time and others will complain about the cold for 2 hours.

I know that most people who get married do so expecting to be together forever.  I don't know why half of those marriages won't survive.

I know that I see patterns everywhere but I don't know why those patterns exist.

We all start out essentially the same - naked, crying, covered in gooey stuff but it doesn't take long before we head off down our own path with blatant disregard for where other people might like us to go.  Along the way, we touch, taste, smell, see and listen to the world as it molds and shapes us.  By the time we are able to pick up our first camera - we have learned to experience the world in a way no one else does. 

It's really quite amazing.  

It also makes it a wee bit challenging when trying to understand someone else. 

How people respond to challenges, grief, change, love, illness, snow or credit card bills isn't always clear or rational...at least to the outside observer.  Expecting people to respond the way we would is not reasonable or fair.  Yet our ability to understand and sympathize with another person's experience really depends on our own experiences up to that point.  How do we see beyond our own view of the world in order to really see someone else's?

Therein lies the challenge.

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