View and viewpoint are not the same thing. This sounds obvious but the real difference between those two words can completely change your experience of life.

I was sitting out on the deck today, listening to music and watching children face off with the ocean. The first group I observed were jumping up and down with glee at the surf’s edge, laughing and daring each other to step in. Their father was jumping up and down and laughing with them. The second group was also standing at the edge, but the two little boys were dressed in life vests and were nervously eying the water, along with their obviously uncomfortable father. Without making judgments about family history or dynamics, it’s clear that the second group of kids is not having the same kind of experience at the shore as the first. Same view, different viewpoints.

After that observation, I flipped my ipod to shuffle and just gazed out to sea, watching some sailboats go by under full sail. After 10 minutes or so, I realized that my thoughts were flowing according to the type of song I was hearing. Fast, jumpy songs were making me feel fast and jumpy, while the slower music allowed me to feel more in sync with what I was watching. So I switched to my relaxation playlist. View and viewpoint.

We may not be comfortable with the view, but as we mature we can have control over our viewpoints. I believe that Victor Frankl said it best, ” Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

My deep thought for the day.

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