Petty Battles and Concerns

Plato suggested taking a bird’s-eye view whenever you want to talk about people. It’s an interesting perspective. From high above, everything takes on a different perspective. The big looks very small.

I think it’s one of the reasons I like tall mountains. The magnificent Rockies in particular. Standing atop a treeless vista at 12,000 feet is a spiritual experience for me. A different perspective is inevitable. Previously significant complaints and concerns are diminished. Peace becomes the natural state of things. Presence is grace in action. I can’t imagine the experience from outer space. Surely, it must be transformative.

Edgar Mitchell, a U.S. astronaut who logged more than 216 hours in space and walked on the moon, put it this way:

In outer space you develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”

I can’t travel to outer space, but perhaps you’ll be able to do just that, Vera. If you can, don’t pass up the opportunity. In the meantime, hike to a mountain top. You’ll be amazed at what you find.

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