Our Skewed World View

How is everyone this fine sunny day? Well, here in the Chicago area it is. Hope everyone is well!

I was watching a documentary about MTV last night, and it reminded me how much I love music, and how it was such a big part of my life. As stated in an earlier blog it has been a key element in my “recovery” as well. I saw the following video in this documentary, and it immediately brought back a key realization I had about what the “real world” is, and how it is different for each individual, in each situation.

“The World I Know”, by Collective Soul.


The video follows the path of a gentlemen that we assume is struggling with Depression-this is demonstrated a few ways. Most of the video is filmed in either a deep blue tint, which is his view of the world-to him. It begins with him walking in the downtown area of a big city, holding a briefcase and a newspaper. As he walks we see the newspapers front page, referencing some children who had starved to death. As he continues to a bus station, he notices a homeless woman who must be looking for donations, and a full color dandelion coming up through the cracks of the sidewalk. As he sits in his seat, he looks at the woman-no one has helped her-her shoulders drop and she walks away. Then someone walks over the dandelion and instantly destroys it-none of the yellow petals remain. He makes a very grim face, and continues reading the paper. When the bus drops him off, he continues walking-seeing an old beggar woman with a shopping cart and a preacher spreading doom for all mankind. Everything  he looks at is still shaded in blue, he is finding no comfort in any of it. It appears to only be contributing to his depression. It is also interesting to note that no one else he sees is smiling-no one. All the while the lyrics of the song reflect what is happening in his world. He has run out of hope……….. he walks by a fire escape, and then stops. He drops his paper and briefcase and starts walking up to the roof. He removes his shoes and sits down-you can see the pain on his face, and realize his answer to all of this is suicide. He steps over the railing out on to the roofs edge, his arms spread to the side with his palms up. He starts to jump-this is clearly it for him.

Except he doesn’t jump. Just as he begins moving for his attempt, a pigeon lands on his arm. Just a regular old pigeon. He looks out at it, and suddenly his world, his perception, his LIFE changes! As if he had never seen a bird before. Of course he had-but he had never taken the time to notice one! Something so small caused a shift in his reality. He pulls out the bagel and begins feeding it-he looks down at the crumbs and notices ants gathering to eat as well. He goes into his pockets and starts throwing money down to the street.  As he continues his gaze he now sees people smiling and feeling good. Were they there before? Probably-but not in his old reality. He saw none of that.

I had heard the saying “it’s the little things that count” millions of times. But this video triggered it for me-made me understand how true it was. We all will receive our “pigeon”, but we have to look for it. It could come in many forms-spiritual, physical-we may need more than one. Our realities are caused by our own perceptions, and how we choose to construct them. Never stop thinking about the things that are truly important-and pay attention to your pigeon(s) when it comes! Now I was not cured by this video, but it did provide me a big step in my personal journey.

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