Saturday, December 5, 2009


This picture of the Earth was taken in December 1968. As the Apollo 8 command module rounded the far side of the Moon, the crew could look toward the lunar horizon and see the Earth appear to rise, due to their spacecraft's orbital motion. Their perspective of the Earth, I am sure, was one they would never forget.

Our problems always look different when we look at them from a different perspective. On that globe in the sky are billions of people, fighting wars and making love, being born and dying. That fragile little planet hanging there in the sky is all we have. It is a beautiful gift.

I began thinking about perspective when I read a post at Recollections of a Vagabonde about her having been in Paris this past Armistice Day, November 11. When she returned to the States, she got sick and spent the time reading some books about World War I, what is called "The Great War." I didn't realize how many millions of people died during that war until I read this post. I knew Veterans Day, as it is called in the US, was to commemorate the end of this war, but I learned a great deal when I read her well researched article.

Even though the population of the Earth was much smaller at the beginning of the last century than it is today, 40 million were dead or injured in the four years this war was waged. When I think of the conflicts going on in the world now, they pale against this number. The fact that I know about every major war in the world today, every newsworthy death that the media finds to tell me about, near and far, distorts my perspective of what is happening in the world. And the media also distorts my perspective because it doesn't focus on the positive, but only on the negative. Rarely do I read any stories anywhere that tell of the magnificent, courageous and meaningful things that humanity is also accomplishing every single day.

When I visit Astronomy Picture of the Day, my perspective begins to change, placing my problems and the world's problems into a different perspective. I can then lift my head, breathe a little easier, and feel my natural optimism begin to return. Then I walk over to my iMac, turn it on, and read all the wonderful things my blogging friends have to say.

I read about my friends all over the world: in India, the Philippines, Scotland, Ireland, Britain, Canada, and all the regions of the United States. They write funny and profound stories, show me pictures of their lives, talk about their concerns and their children, grandchildren, illnesses, fears and coping strategies. I am uplifted and energized, ready to start my day with a positive attitude, with a perspective of hope.


  1. Boy, do I agree. All we hear about are the bad things and the "sensational" stories that don't really affect our lives. It is so easy to completely lose your perspective about what is going on in the world. I am taking a moratorium on the news right now. I know when I am screaming at the TV, it is time to stop watching it.
    There are a lot of wonderful things going on and these blogs are one of them. My "uplift" for the day.

  2. AMEN, dear DJan. We are one big small world out in the blogosphere and we get to visit with each other all over the globe and realize how much we have in common. This is where I go for good news, real news, connecting news. So much of mainstream media is polarizing, negative, and sensational. It eclipses so much of what IS newsworthy. And why can't we have balance?

    Yes, the world has much bad news but, like you say, it also has so much GOOD news? Why is it we are not allowed to enjoy any of it? Is it any wonder we have all come out here into the blogosphere to create our own written word and much more well-rounded approach to life?

    Well done, dear friend!!!!! Gorgeous photo.

  3. I have to avoid the news for periods of time. Why is it that people only want to hear about the grisly details of that latest murder or scandal? I think maybe there are more people out there like you which is why people are tuning in more and more often to shows which focus on giving back (ex: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). It's much more rewarding to hear about the positive.
    I had no idea that there was that much death and tragedy in the first world war. I'm going to go to this link and read the article. Thank you for this reminder about perspective.

  4. When hubby turns on the news, which is every day the minute he walks into the house, I say something like, "bringing in poison into the house." :D I go to the computer to read what you all say, to the bedroom to read my Bible, turn on a CD with some beautiful music, or turn on the bedroom TV to a really sappy old movie.
    Right now, I'm listening to Christmas music. :D

    God bless. Love your entry today.

  5. Dearest DJan~ This is such an inspiring post!!!You are so very, very right...the multiplicity of media does impact our perspective...but there is so much that is positive in our world...Not only do your words encourage me, but I also love the photo, and the way it reminds me to step back from difficulties and problems, and to look at the big picture!!! You have truly touched my heart today!!!! I LOVE this post!!! Thank you with all my heart!!! Love you, Janine XO

  6. Good point. For me, it's so hard to put into perspective these enormous numbers. I have nothing to relate it to. But tell me about one person, one story, and I'm there.

    I love traveling this small blue planet with you!

  7. Thank you DJan for visiting my blog and writing such a nice comment about my post. I have a globe of the earth and whenever I would get upset at work, or stressed at anything I would look at the globe and find the US, then try to find Georgia, then Atlanta and then I realized what a small dot it was and me in it was such an insignificant speck of dust, my stress would go away. I “hear” the news in the kitchen while my husband watches it in the den, but if there is something of interest I usually like to read about it on the Web, like the BBC or other places to get different viewpoints. I don’t watch much television at all, I have too many books to read, and this way I don’t get scared because TV always tells scary tales.

  8. Great post! We have taken to not watching the news on television. We stay totally away from all of the opinion channels. It just gets to be too much. I do read some news on the computer, but like you, I feel so down when I do because it feels like it's all negative, when in actuality there are many really good things happening.

  9. Our world has become smaller in size due to the internet and continuous media coverage. It used to seem so vast and immense. What happens to a little country around the world now has the ability to have a major impact on us. I wonder if we will ever learn that we are dependent on each other to survive.

  10. Yes, perspective... How did those who fought keep a level perspective when they came back home? It boggles my mind!

  11. DJ,I don't read the newspapers anymore, I don't watch TV anymore, I had enough of all the negative news broadcast lately. Perhaps you've heard about the big gruesome news which happened here recently. Senseless killings just because of political rivalries, how shallow. I can write a blog about it, but it'll just create a negative effect to my readers.

    My morning begins with reading all of your blogs which uplifts my spirit and brightens up my day. I am glad that most of my friends online post delightful blogs and that's enough news to make my day complete.


  12. A truly wonderful post that is timely for me. I've been evaluating so much about my life and not liking a lot of what I find about myself. But, it is easy to be too hard on ourselves and finding a balance is key. Thanks for the insight!

  13. I watch the news every day but it takes a lot of courage to do it, doesn't it. Very often, I cry at what I see and hear and wish, wish, wish that I could do more to help the world situation. However, I don't think that we can avoid watching. We have to know. I did notice, when I was in the States, that the news over there is very insular compared to ours from the BBC. We get more world news, good and bad.
    Take Care,
    Blessings, Star

  14. You do have the ability to put things into perspective DJan, that is a good thing. I do watch the news to stay informed but I prefer BBC America, as Star said, it is more world news and they do have the good and bad.

    I think our world has become smaller with the internet and even more so with sites like Blogger. I can learn more about life around the globe here than any newscast.


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