Sunday, February 08, 2004

Sense of Perspective

A Sense of Perspective

"Never write about a place until you're away from it, because it gives you perspective", wrote Hemingway.

I have worked outside Malaysia for the past six years (four in Singapore and two in Jakarta) and all that time away gave me a better perspective of the life that I used to lead in KL. Now that I'm back in KL and away from Jakarta, I hope to be able to look back on my time there with greater clarity and insight.

When we are living in a particular place, we are consumed by its environment. Environment affects our behaviour a lot. Our environment includes the people we meet and interact with daily. Everyone is a source and sink of karma and in each other's web of karma we entangle ourselves. Sometimes we are being swept along, at other times we drive the tides and currents of our affairs. When we are trashing in this sea of karma, it is difficult for us to see things in its proper perspective.

But once we out of the place, it is like we are standing on dry land, high on a cliff looking down at the turbulent sea. We realise where we are in relationship to everything else and we take note of our position before taking another plunge into the waters again.

It is dangerous to be swept away unknowingly by the waves of events that are constantly hitting us. We need to take stock, recheck our position, regain our composure and realise our errors. We need to step back and we need time away; in other words, we need distance in space and time. Only by doing so do we get that all important sense of perspective.

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