60 Degrees/10 Feet
This book came to me out of nowhere, but to say that I had not been thinking of writing something would be a lie at this point. I wanted to write about something for a long long time now, but felt that I had nothing to write about. Suddenly driving in the car, unemployed for the first time after rejoining the workforce 2 years earlier, it hit me as I was coming back from the most mundane experience in the world. Grocery shopping!! I was focused on getting home, the sky was gray and it had been snowing once again. When you read this, realize that I’m talking about Ontario winter of the year 2007/2008. It started snowing in November and never stopped!
As I was saying I was driving focused on the road and realized as I drove along this street that I had traveled a thousand times before that I noticed a new house that I had never seen before. I wondered if it had just been built and the next time I went driving down that road with a friend, I asked him if he had ever seen that dwelling before. Coming from the area in question, he said to me in surprise and laughter. “It’s always been there, it was there when I was a kid!” I was shocked. How could I have missed it? Then I realized what had happened. It was the 60 Degrees and 10 feet syndrome. And by that I mean this…
In life we get so busy and move so fast that we forget to stop and smell the flowers or look at the sky or just simply look around. We move so quickly that the only area we look at is 60 Degrees of circumference as opposed to the 180 we have available (I’m including the peripheral vision and I’ll explain why) and only about 10 feet in front of us. Just take a minute and see if you do it in your car. I say we could probably see about 120 degrees around us and at least take in 30 degrees on each side (peripheral vision) of light. But most of us only use about 60 degrees. And then do we look far ahead to see what is coming or do we simply look 10 feet, 20 feet ahead of us without searching farther into the distance? This could also be called tunnel vision, and it’s incredible how much our civilization does it and in more ways than one.
By no means do I want to be negative in this book. I am seeing what this world is turning into. I’ve quit one job for the lack of personal interaction between the people. I’d wait and travel in a bus (public transportation) with people who could not take the time to acknowledge the mere existence of another human being. Not looking at you, not talking to you. Plugged into their world of MP3’s, PSP’s, Ipods, phones, texting and talking. No one bothering to care of try to connect with anyone face-to-face, all interactive technology. I would arrive at this job with a team of people I would never speak to, I would then attach myself to a headset and talk to strangers all day who would feel the need to scream at me with poor behavior because they did not know me and I did not know them, and somehow that made it acceptable, only to start it all over again when it was time to go. This entire interaction…cough cough was just too much for me and after 3 months I decided to leave, quit.
So here I am in all my infinite wisdom trying my best not to make a complete mess out my life and trying to write down what has become truth for me, and I guess share it along if possible.
So here is my first bit of wisdom. Open up your vision. Try to open up as much of your 180 Degrees that is available to you. Look further, and let the light in. I’ve realized that the world looks a lot bigger and more wondrous and you see a lot more and miss a lot less. You may not be as focused to getting the ice cream into the freezer, but you might discover a pretty meadow or a beautiful farm just waiting to be discovered by you. There are some undiscovered gems out there just waiting to inspire you, all you have to do is open up your vision!!