Creative Thinking: A spot on the paper

By: Elsa Franco Al Ghaslan

I often wonder about the “blindness” that seems to afflict mankind. It is not a physical kind of ailment. It is a spiritual disease that prevents us human beings from enjoying life.

How? By blocking our perception of reality, i.e. of how things really are, and our understanding of the true value that such things should be given. Men (and women) can be seen as living in a house with glass walls from which it could be easy to enjoy the beautiful view that lies outside. But they don’t enjoy it because they can’t. Each individual appears to be totally engrossed in his own little problems and is therefore incapable of looking farther than his nose. He is immersed in the “puzzle” and is unable to see the meaning of the whole picture.

An example? Think about a problem you may be having right now. Let us say you are facing a difficult situation at home. You keep bickering on a daily basis with another member of your family about your different opinions. You can find neither an agreement nor a compromise because you insist on staying put on your position.

Therefore the contrast goes on and no solution seems possible. As a consequence, you feel dissatisfied, nervous and — at times — even your health suffers from the situation. If you take the time to reflect carefully, you might make an interesting discovery. The reason for not finding a peaceful solution to your problem does not lie in the problem itself but in your belief in your “righteousness”. As long as you insist on perceiving only your side of the question and refuse to acknowledge someone else’s point of view, you are ignoring the beautiful panorama beyond the glass walls because you keep your eyes fixed on the tip of your nose. How can you open up your horizon? By accepting the fact that no-one is always right (so, neither are you!), agree on the possibility that the others, too, have the right to their opinion and have also the right to be listened to, without impatience or reprimand.

If you do that (accept and agree), you will miraculously get out of the puzzle and have the full view of two people who can talk things over amicably, and realize how lucky you are in having a family with people who love and care for you, in spite of some occasional contrast or misunderstanding. So many relationships are ruined just because the people involved keep on seeing “the other” as the opponent do be bent down, as the enemy to be won over instead of a simple interlocutor with whom it is possible to find an agreement.

Another example? Imagine that some friends invited you on a trip to the mountains. You go with them but you are not feeling well.

Therefore, while they are enjoying the beautiful sight of picturesque cliffs, lakes and woods, you do not appreciate anything. You don’t even feel like looking out of the car window because you are in pain. When you finally get back home, your idea of the trip was of total disappointment. If you persist in keeping this memory, you will never appreciate the beauty of that spot.

On the other hand, if you decide to take the same trip when you are feeling well, you will change your biased idea and praise the beauty of the scenery. Can you see how your perspective changes according to your personal mood? Persisting in keeping a fixed idea about a certain situation prevents you from getting the true picture.

When people live in such way, i.e. caged in pre-conceived, static, self-righteous convictions about the world, they cannot enjoy life because they limit themselves to seeing the tiny black spot and don’t notice the big white paper sheet on which they can express their talent by drawing a picture or writing a poem. Consequently, they refuse to draw or write because that tiny spot is bothering them!





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