Seeing things in a different light

It’s amazing how the light can affect so much  the way we perceive things and even our moods. Everyone knows what it means when you talking "seeing things in a different light" but I’ve always thought of it as just a metaphor to describe seeing things differently. This weekend, during a long drive to Karatu and back I realised how the light literally changes how things look and the general effect it has how I take it all in.

I’ve never really appreciated before the differences between the light of the early morning dawn and the hours following and the small hours of dusk near the end of the day and it’s probably something that couldn’t really be captured in a photograph.

Maybe it’s just me, but the morning light of the new day seems brighter and full of promise.. I guess for me, it captures the early morning departures of a fishing trip or safari or the beginning of a new journey… everything you see can seem new , fresh and exciting. Yet seeing the same things in the fading evening sunset casts a whole new perspective and prompts different feelings inside.. one more somber, the feeling of anticipating the end of a journey where you’re looking forward to a nice dinner or your comfy bed.

It’s funny how easily affected we can be by our environmental conditions. Over the next week, take a minute or two as you step aside to look around, smell the roses and consider what kind of mood that puts you in.. think about how different it might be on a bright sunny morning as compared to a cloudy overcast day… does it change if it’s a weekend or weekday?

If you’re anything like me you’ll notice how even seemingly small things like a brighter day or the feeling of a nice clean shirt can make you feel and think so much more positively. These things can change how we see the world and consequently how we react to the things and people around us. It’s a powerful revelation and full of potential. It is something that successful marketing and design companies that have grasped and put to good use to convince us to buy their products.

On a personal level, it is also very powerful… because once you realise how things externally have such an effect on us, then how much more do things internally affect us? The way we think, our values, our culture, our identities all shape how we see the world and how we react or interact with everything and even ourselves.

Is the glass half full or half empty? The question is about whether we see things positively or negatively.. but dig deeper and there’s a lot more to the question that you might think… a colour blind person sees the same colour when he looks at green and yellow… A tanzanian won’t think twice about men holding hands where as you might see it as homosexual (it’s not actually, it’s quite common to see men holding hands)… some see Africa as dirty, dangerous, and unsafe, I see it as an amazing beautiful place where I’m probably safer than in a city in a developed country… you may see the poor helpless people who need your money while I see people full of potential who are capable of helping themselves if they could find the will to… some people see a problem where as others see an opportunity to challenge themselves…

What’s the lesson here? Nothing is ever what it seems, so if you open up your mind to the possibilities you might see things in a way you never thought possible.

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4 Responses to Seeing things in a different light

  1. Adrian says:

    Dude, that’s such good writing. You should become a writer – don’t close yourself off to that possibility or any other possibility for that matter.

    It’s only your mind which stops you!

  2. Alif Wahid says:

    Happy birthday Yong! Have a good one.

  3. Despite an attempt to glorify light, you totally forget something – yourself. A corny quote “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”; You are the one who looks forward to a new great day/the end of a day and you are the one praising the light in the given situations – Your conclusions are all based on your own subjectivity.

    “Half full/half empty” – Having to make that choice also labels yourself. Labels limit and create stereotypes. Be rational and logical instead and say the glass neither empty nor full.

    Enjoy your light.

  4. yongly says:

    Thanks for your comment Illiterate Bastard.. you obviously don’t know me that well :) this whole blog is subjective. I never claim otherwise.

    The whole subjective view of the world debate is a bit much for this post but yes I agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the underlying emotions run the same don’t you think? something you see as beautiful will make you feel happier and something that that you see as threatening will instil fear.

    I also think that we are not always aware of how we subconsciously perceive certain things.. if we had to consciously decide how each sense that comes in affects us we’d be overwhelmed. Sure it’s different for everyone, but just because it’s subjective, doesn’t mean it’s you can control it either so it’s important to consider that. Consider the illogical nature of phobias.

    Being ‘rational and logical’ is in itself subjective. It all depends on what you ground your conclusions and assumptions on. Besides.. labels can be changed, and we can make a different choice each time.. Better to make a choice than to not make one and sit on the fence all the time don’t you think? :)

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