Sharing this article which I came across. Long before I took down to writing, had a collection of articles that used to come in the Sundays Times edition under the Speaking Tree. Took me quite some time to type it down. Hope you all like it..
This article was written by Janina Gomes long back in 2007.
There’s an American Indian tale of a mouse that heard a roaring in its ears and set out to discover what it was. The mouse had to first give up one of its mouse ways of seeing things in order to grow. When the mouse had given away its eyes to help two other animals and was without sight, defenseless, it was picked up by an eagle. Before the mouse knew, it was flying and could see the splendor all around. The mouse was gifted with a new vision.
When we have tunnel vision we cannot see the contrariness in things and ourselves. We do not see both the tiger and the lamb in us. We cannot see that we are both weak and strong, innocent and guilty, right and wrong. It is only when we are at peace with the conflict inside us, are we able to love all the ways the world can be outside us. “The farmer may only be planting a seed, but if he opens his eyes he is feeding the whole world”, said Omaha Bee.
The mouse in the story had to discover another way of looking at itself and reality. We grow only when we replace shortsightedness with a vision that reaches out. The mouse way is to be small minded and petty. In the mouse way we are quick to label people and events. We become self-righteous and picky. We tend to see ourselves as moral guardians and so condemn “others”.
Then, like the mouse, somehow we lose ourselves along the way. All the familiar landmarks of life we clung to are no longer there to prop us up. Like the mouse, we give away something that is precious to us, which is often our “mouse way” of seeing things and reality. We reach out to others or go beyond ourselves. We go deeper and search wider in the world outside to ourselves. Tunnel vision gives way to a new reality.
To the external eye, we are all doing the same things in life — walking, talking, eating, sleeping, rising, washing, travelling, writing or driving. But internally, we are not really doing the same things at all. For some the motions of life are mechanical, done without any meaning attached to them. For others, every motion is driven by a goal or higher purpose. Buddhist mindfulness is all about doing the same things in life in a different way. When we become less mechanical and more purposeful, the power and energy of God begin to flow through us. We begin to co-create with God, rather than remain empty receptacles that cannot receive His grace.
There are those who use language in life to create by realizing the power of words to shape reality. There are others who use language to communicate — sometimes positive things, sometimes negative. Those who like to remain with the mouse way of looking at things and doing things remain at the level of superficiality. Language and words are often used by these people to disrupt and destroy.
Plant a seed. But remember why you are planting a seed. Will your action and motivation remain like that of the farmer who could not see beyond his own field? Those who know that a seed can and does feed the whole world, will experience the splendor of the world. Build a new vision.