What Do You See?
I have to admit something that I’m not too proud of. I get somewhat annoyed when my girlfriend grabs vegetables for herself from our communal dish.
It’s kind of weird I know. You see, when we both eat, we both like vegetables, so we tend to finish off the vegetable dish a bit more quickly than the other dishes.
There’s only a set amount of vegetables in that plate. So, when she grabs some vegetables for herself, I realize that there is less vegetables now for me! Which means less health for my body!
Same feeling happens when I grab vegetables for her. More for her, but less available for my plate.
But when I simply grab vegetables for myself, I also feel somewhat bad. Because that means there’s less vegetables on the plate for her. Which could indirectly make her feel unhealthy!
What do I do in the situation? Oh, the absolute horror.
I realize as I am typing this out how good I have it right now. If this is the struggle that you’re complaining about in life, you really need to gain some new perspective.
But, I think this dilemma can be magnified into a larger scale as well. After all, how many times in society do we come across a finite amount of resource that is only available to a finite set of people?
The fact that all material things are finite pits us into a means of endless competition with each other. I need to have more. But when I have more, that means someone else in this world has less.
If someone else in this world gets more, that means other people in this world (possibly myself!) have less.
That’s the dilemma that most of us get unwittingly dragged into.
In the education system - grades are often curved. So that a finite amount of people get A’s. And an inevitable amount of people get non-passing grades regardless of effort or skill.
In many workplaces, there is a finite amount of promotions. So obviously, some people will get those promotions, while others get inevitably left behind - thinking whether they are “good enough” to cut it.
Even in the dating scene, there’s only so many girls (or guys) to go around. Competition to find that right someone can be brutal.
In the finite world, the comparisons of who did or didn’t get what becomes endless.
Anyway, back to my dilemma with my girlfriend eating more vegetables than me. The horror!
When I encounter something finite (where there’s only enough resources to go around for limited people), I try to ask myself the question: What do you see?
What do you see in this situation? Do you only see a finite amount of vegetables available for two people? Do you simply see your girlfriend getting more, and you getting less?
Or do you see more than that?
Do you see the amount of time it took your girlfriend to go buy, prep, and cook these vegetables?
Do you see the farmers that grew and harvested these crops somewhere in the USA?
Do you see the truck drivers that loaded and transported these vegetables from the farms to wholesalers, then all the way to our local supermarkets?
Do you see the cashier working multiple hour shifts at the supermarket organizing the vegetables for you to buy?
Or how about the actual dinner right now? Do you see the cozy apartment that you’re sitting in to enjoy the dinner?
Do you see the construction workers however many years ago that built this apartment allowing you to enjoy this meal on the table?
Do you see the doorman of your apartment enhancing security for all the people that live here?
Do you see all these factors and people contributing a part towards helping to eventually distribute this meal onto your table to enjoy?
So next time, when your girlfriend grabs vegetables for her plate, do you simply see a case of more for her, less for me? Do you see a finite game, or do you see a broader perspective?
Something more than just win or lose. What do you see?
This question can be relevant to all of us. What do we all see when we step out to experience life? Do we see everything finitely distributed?
Or can we grow our mindset beyond that? And see the infinite possibilities and connections that play a role into us experiencing life the way it is?
What we see can color the way that we experience life. So, when you’re faced with an inevitable dilemma that life throws your way, ask yourself the question: what do you see?
Try to stretch your vision beyond the typical finite wins and losses of life. Try it out.