I never saw an ugly thing in my life, for let the form of an object be what it may—light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful. ~ John Constable, English landscape painter, 1776–1837


What do you see?


Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard tells an interesting story about two of his friends during the monsoon season at his monastery in Nepal. He was sitting on the monastery steps as the two friends approached. Because the courtyard had turned into a muddy mess, the monks had created a path with bricks across the mud.

The first friend complained about every brick as she crossed over the courtyard to the monastery. She said, “Yuck! What if I’d fallen into that filthy muck? Everything’s so dirty in this country!”

Since they were good friends, Matthieu simply nodded, hoping that would comfort her.

Then the second friend crossed over the courtyard’s brick path, singing as she hopped from brick to brick. When she reached Matthieu, still sitting on the steps, she said, “What fun! The great thing about the monsoon is that there’s no dust.”

Two people in the same situation, seeing two different realities. There are over 7 billion people on this planet today. That equals over 7 billion different realities. Fascinating thought, isn’t it?


It is only in respecting and honoring the perspectives of others that you will ever create harmony among your brothers and sisters. That does not mean you must abandon your own values and beliefs. But it does mean it behooves you to listen to others without judgement or condemnation.

You are, after all, in this game of life together. None of you intended, nor did your Creator intend, for everyone to always agree with everybody else. As you say, variety is the spice of life.

Honor the variety, the differences. Honor one another, love one another as you would have others honor and love you.

Then you will be at peace when others’ perspectives, others’ realities clash with yours. Then your world will be at peace.

That is your true work, each one of you—to use your own unique talents to create the love and peace you say you want in your chaotic world. That is the only way you will replace the chaotic world with a peaceful world.

Once you have achieved that, your work is done.


Copyright © 2016 by John Cali

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I hope this beautiful short video on facing life’s inevitable challenges inspires you as much as it did me.



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