This I Believe

Daniel - Seattle, Washington
Entered on July 18, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
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We Make Our Own Movies

I believe our lives are like motion pictures. Each of us is the director of our own movie. Whenever you point the camera of your mind’s attention at one thing, you are choosing to point it away from everything else. How this works can be illustrated by the following story.

Once upon a time a man took his two young sons to City Park. There was a wide footpath surrounding a small lake in the center of the park, home to a gaggle and a half of Canadian geese.

First he told the boys they were going to play a game. But it wasn’t a race or a competition, so they should take their time. Then, separately, he led each one aside, giving him a small notepad and pencil.

He told the younger son to make one circuit around the lake, never leaving the footpath, and to mark a tally on the notepad for every rosebush he saw. And with that, the youngster sped away, eager to get a head start on his brother.

The older boy was given the same instructions, except instead of rosebushes he was directed to look for the little calling cards scattered throughout the park by the Canadian geese.

The two boys raced back together, both nearly out of breath. “I found 41 goose droppings,” the older boy gleefully proclaimed. “I counted 31 rosebushes,” chimed in the younger son.

The father chuckled and praised them both, then asked the elder son how many rosebushes he’d seen. “Well…uhhh…I didn’t see any. But that’s not fair! I wasn’t looking for rosebushes.” Similiarly the younger son confessed to not having noticed a single goose dropping.

“Boys,” the father said with a wry grin, “the game you have just played is called ‘Life’.” The two brothers looked thoroughly perplexed.

“It’s like this, sons, life is like a walk in the park. You only get one trip around the lake. So you should take your time and enjoy it. There’s no rush. And wherever life’s journey takes you , remember this: if you focus your attention on the beautiful things, then beauty is what you will see. If, on the other hand, you look only for life’s little goose droppings, well, then…you could end up living a crappy life.” Both boys giggled at this.

“The important thing to remember, sons is that wherever you go in life, you may find both good and bad. Remember to always look for the good.”