Whether I’m writing, traveling, meeting people, reading literature, taking an art class, or staring up into space, there’s plenty of daily reminders that
- there’s a lot of ways to perceive things
- there’s no way that I can see it all, all at once.
The Southern Cross is a major constellation familiar to residents of the South Pacific.I live in the North Atlantic, I am over 30 years old, and I’ve never seen it in person. Because I have never seen it, I could easily doubt and dispute its very existence.
Meanwhile in the South Pacific, the Southern Cross is a major constellation. It figures prominently in the design of the Australian and New Zealand flags. It is a constant in their night sky, a tool for ocean navigation, and it has been incorporated into the mythologies of peoples lived their lives under its familiar glow for generations.
At any given moment, we have a tendency to think in absolutes. It’s convenient to think we’re logical, we’ve examined all the facts, that our way is the right way. We have a need to make sense of our world in order to function it and make countless decisions to run our lives in order to move on to the next task and the next decision.
But there’s a lot of relativity and unique cultural experience tied into that right decision. The decision we make this year isn’t necessarily the same one we’d make next year in the same set of circumstances. Furthermore, it’s all too easy to rely on absolutes, welcome routine and conformity as we age; only to look back and wonder where the freshness, wonder and amazement of childhood went. Chances are, we gave it away one decision at a time by limiting ourselves to all we’d seen before as if that was all there was to see..
It’s important to never forget there’s always one or more Southern Crosses just beyond our horizon we can’t always see or appreciate. If we sought them out more, they could change everything in our approach to life’s decisions. We help each other to see Southern Crosses when we communicate and keep an open mind.