Parallax is defined as the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions. This is evident when you view a finger within an arm’s length from your head and see how it appears to change positions as you alternate closing one eye at a time. A simple change in your point of view can entirely change your perception of an object and its position. The same is true when it comes to your outlook on life.
My alarm went off at 5:25 A.M. I stepped out of bed to shut it off and immediately my body longed to be back in the warmth and comfort that my bed provided. I opened my curtains; it was still pitch-black outside. Is anyone else in the entire world awake right now? I thought to myself.
I got dressed, ate breakfast, and headed out the door to drive to morning practice for volleyball. I wasn’t in a good mood. I don’t think anyone could ever honestly say that they are in a good mood at that ungodly hour of the day. As soon as I turned on the highway, I saw some other cars. Oh, I thought to myself, I guess SOME people are awake right now.
Soon after that, I heard a siren and saw blue and red lights flashing in my rear-view mirror. Could this day literally get any worse? I’m going to be late for morning practice AND I’m going to get a speeding ticket. I immediately slowed down and pulled the car over. I was fully prepared to be punished for driving slightly over the speed limit and I was already beginning to text my coach that I was going to be late for practice.
Then, suddenly, the flashing lights and siren passed me. I quickly glanced out the window and immediately realized that it wasn’t a cop but an ambulance.
This proved to be a turning point in my attitude and my outlook on life, at that very moment. Someone could be seriously hurt or sick. I thought waking up at 5:25 A.M. was the end of the world when really, someone else could be gasping for their last breaths of air. Waking up for morning practice was no longer a nuisance, it was truly a blessing.
The fact that I am able to sleep in a warm bed with a roof over my head should’ve been my first thought of gratitude that morning… not that my life sucked for having to leave it so soon. When I headed out the door, I should’ve been extremely grateful that I had food to eat and a car to drive. Another blessing that many kids aren’t so lucky to have.
And finally, when I got to morning practice, rather than dreading sprints and push-ups, I decided I would be grateful for my health. I am so blessed to have the ability to even play sports. For example, my cousin, who has Marfan’s Syndrome, can never play contact sports. She would love to be in my shoes.
I’d be lying if I told you, it’s easy to be grateful for many of the things in life that you dread. Who really is excited to run sprints or wake up at 5:25 A.M.? Instead of suddenly trying to change your attitude, I want you to realize how many people there are in the world who have it so much worse than you.
Consider parallax, as I mentioned before, and how simply changing the point of view that you look at things can completely change your perception of those things. As the holiday season approaches, I encourage you to put things in your life into perspective. Once you do that, you can understand all the many things that you take for granted are some of the things other people would kill to have.