We cannot experience all of life, so we listen to the wise ones and heed their warnings. And then, there are those guideposts that come through avid reading or viewing of media forms. If we encounter a new or unusual situation while on our journeys, our memory may be jogged.
We remember a character from a book who was meeting similar perils. Then we have moments of recognition and there is that aha moment. We say, “Oh yeah. I read about this or I saw that in a movie.”
Most books change or alter us in some way. They allow us to get peeks into lifestyles or subcultures that are new to us. By the time we reach the last page of a work, some new point–of-view has emerged and we look at things differently. Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at, change.”
Promptings from reading and observing media forms can serve as safety nets. We don’t have to travel too far down into a dark abyss. We clearly see the red flags that make us yield, change directions or put our motions in reverse. Or we may stop and turn left or right onto another path or roadway in life.
In Jane Austen’s Emma, Emma and those close to her are surprised by the secret engagement of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. His stepmother said, “Much, beyond impropriety! It has sunk him; I cannot say how much it has sunk him in my opinion. So unlike what a man should be.”
But Emma doesn’t want to jump to conclusions. She said, “Let us wait, therefore, for his letter. It may bring many extenuations. It may make many things intelligible and excusable which now are not to be understood. Don’t let us be severe; don’t let us be in a hurry to condemn him. Let us have patience.”
The older people used to sing, “It will all make sense by and by.” Emma’s willingness to wait and hear the whole story was an aha moment for me because clarity comes with full understanding. Sometimes, we too must wait for all of the mysteries to unfold.
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with a couple of autistic children. Seeing the movie Rain Man came to mind because I could see these children’s brilliance in distintive areas. I thought of the beloved Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) who had an uncanny ability for memorizing numbers, though he could not function independently. I silently nodded as I recognized this slice of life and said, “Oh yeah” as I observed these children excel in their comfort zones.
We can in no form or fashion experience all that life holds. Yet, reading and taking note of the available media forms offer us those guides as we travel through uncharted waters. Those aha moments remind us that we have previously seen or heard about something that we are now witnessing. This awareness keep us on the straight and narrow path as we proceed with greater insight and caution!
Lynn M. November 9, 2015