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  • Writer's pictureLois

Living in the Contrast

Archived Post from 5/10/2017

I have just finished watching the movie ‘The Giver’.  When I was teaching, I think this was required reading for English classes at one of the grade levels; however, I have never read the book.  In the movie, we are introduced to a seemingly peaceful, idyllic society where everyone is taught to follow the rules and conform to sameness.  The lack of color is starkly noticeable to the viewers, but not to the citizens of this city.  

Upon graduating, each young adult is assigned a job.  One boy is chosen to be the Receiver of all the memories.  It is further explained that this position requires endurance of great pain.  After the first session with the current Receiver (now the Giver), color is revealed to the young man, along with pleasurable experiences such as snow, sledding and the concept of ‘home’.  

Long story short…in this civilization, there are no emotions, colors, pleasurable or repulsive experiences….only a controlled existence devoid of contrast.  The new Receiver makes the decision that all inhabitants should be the receivers of the memories…good and bad.

The message is simple.  Yes, it is painful for most of us to witness hatred, brutality, abuse, war, murder, sickness, hunger, devastation…and the list goes on and on.  But the consequence of not facing what we don’t want is that we don’t get to experience or fully appreciate all that is good and glorious.  Would you trade never witnessing the dazzling splendor of a rainbow to never see the violence of a storm?  Would it be worth never knowing the deep feeling of love for family and friends so you might never have to reconcile the time in our history when brother fought against brother in a war that tore families apart?

Yes, there are situations, events and circumstances that leave me quaking in my boots, that bring me to my knees, that have me crying rivers of tears because of the injustice. If we let this be our focus….all the things we don’t want….we have sentenced ourselves to a life of despair.  This doesn’t have to be our fate.  We get to choose what we give our attention to and how we feel about all of our experiences.  Lucky for us, we are surrounded by immense beauty, strong feelings of love and appreciation, sensory experiences that have the ability to take our breath away.  In the day-to-day happenings, where do you put your focus and attention?

In truth, the scale tips astoundingly to the side of feeling good.  I rejoice at the awakening of each day with the changing colors of the sunrise.  I come alive listening to expressions of music that entice me to move my body in dance.  My heart swells to the point of bursting when I hold a newborn baby and gaze upon the perfection.  My soul soars at the creative construction of words that fill volumes of books for our enjoyment.  My senses are overwhelmed at the consumption of delicious food and drink. My choice, my destiny, is being present in each moment and finding all things I can be appreciative of during the course of every day.

In this physical time-space reality we are living in, we have the choice to experience life however we want.  As for me, I choose to give my attention to love, light, beauty and the goodness of humanity.   We are here to live in our joy, and the Divine has made sure there is joy in abundance.  This can absolutely be your conscious choice, as well. :)

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