Whimsical Wednesdays with Arlinda
Understanding, empathy, and balance are often missing in our day-to-day routines. We can’t understand when things don’t go right; we can’t comprehend what someone else is going through; we can’t take the two extremes we work with and find a position in the middle. Poets, such as Rudyard Kipling in “If”, captivate my attention and cause me to question why we force ourselves to create boxes of burdens limiting our thoughts and actions; we are capable of more; we are capable of logically understanding the two sides to a story, so why do we feel the need to only perceive things through one angle?
The poem highlights the transition between childhood into adulthood and all the alterations of our perspective that should be accompanied by growing up. In the poem, the speaker states, “if you can dream—and not make dreams your master; / if you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, / if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / and treat those two imposters just the same… / yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it”. We can dream, but our dreams should not consume our waking lives. We can think, but our thoughts should not be forced. While we are faced with good and bad situations, we need to remember that both are fleeting and cannot last forever, therefore we must balance our reactions to each, as each situation is in its swiftness the same.
Without understanding that there is a balance to everything, we cannot learn to truly enjoy all that the world has to offer. By constraining ourselves to perceive the world in one way or another, to oblige ourselves to create new thoughts and ideas, and to chose instantaneously whether a situation is beneficial to us or not we are boxing ourselves into the labels we have imposed upon our lives. We can choose to believe in both sides of a story, because every story has multiple angles. Understand that it is ok to seek the balance in your life by standing in the middle of life’s proverbial seesaw instead of choosing one side or the other; and realize that trying to understand how others see the world will only broaden your perspective of it.