People Shape Your World

The journal entry talks about how I met someone who had just broken up with her boyfriend, and a friend of hers told me it had been a waste of time. Yet I disagreed, writing ‘Everyone you meet changes your perception about something, and so even when they have left, you still ‘have’ a part of them because their thoughts alter your view of the world. For example, if someone teaches you the star constellations, every time you see the stars, you will see them differently. If someone’s favorite color is yellow, you may find more beauty in yellow things. So it’s never a waste. With knowledge comes beauty as well as wisdom.’

Finding the right people

There are some that will alter your perception of world in a negative way. This is a parents nightmare. Your kid starts hanging out with ‘bad influences’ and before you know it school grades have gone down, but nights out are on the rise. At work, there are those that’ll bitch to you about colleagues, or moan about pay. These people won’t help you further your career so watch out. In life there are friends that’ll inspire you, and there are some that’ll deepen the rut in which you’re stuck. Finding the right people to shape your world is crucial to a positive change in perception.

What do the right people wear?

It’s impossible to tell from first glance who the ‘right people’ are. So give everyone a chance. Assume rapport from the moment you meet them and ask questions. Get to know them and establish the truths behind the customary half-truths that we all give during first encounters. I heard once not to trust men wearing ties, but at school everyone had to wear a tie, at work everyone wears a tie, at formal gatherings all men wear ties…So I decided not to trust the man who told me this rule. Only once you feel that you have gotten to know someone; their beliefs, lifestyle, habits, characteristics etc. can you decide whether or not to follow their shaping. Although, just by this encounter they will have already changed your perception of the world in strange ways.

Who shapes the world: Them or me?

It’s your perception that is being changed and it’s your brain doing the changing. The people you meet simply send inputs. These inputs (e.g. information about star constellations) are simply bits of data that are organized and interpreted by you. They are seen through your lens.  Each bit of data or input affects the outcome of every other bit of data received or about to be received. Say for instance you learn that Christopher Columbus was a great man. He traveled the world and conquered great lands. When you read about other travelers Columbus comes to mind, and you begin to develop a great interest in traveling, the old colonial days and history. Then you learn a different truth: Christopher Columbus was a bad man. He promoted slavery, racism and killed thousands of natives as he stole their land. All previous interests are now in jeopardy; when you meet other travelers you wonder about their intentions; when you watch colonial history programs there is a side of you that questions the evil, the darkness.

It’s you who decides how to interpret the ‘truth’. Which is why Judges in Courts of Law dedicate their lives to finding out all different sides of the story to gain a balanced argument.

Look out for the invisible man

However it is often the people you don’t meet that shape your world the most. How many times on the dance floor have you laughed at someone trying to do the moonwalk? You can thank (the now deceased – may he rest in peace) Michael Jackson for those times. Are you living above the poverty line? It could be the case that you have Gordon Brown to thank, for he has brought over 600,000 children and a million pensioners out of poverty. Do you understand the concept of gravity? It was Sir Isaac Newton that brought this comprehension into your life. The people that work behind the scenes (including your parents) are the ones that really shape your world. They’re the ones that work to make it a better place, to help you climb the steps of life.

More paint means more colors

Entertain your mind with as many opinions (and thus people) as possible. The more you have, the more shape your world will take. The more shape, the more beauty. Read enough, listen intensively, watch carefully, live large. These are the words that’ll enable your world to take shape.