“Don’t judge my story by the chapter you walked in on” is a popular quotation that has been paraphrased throughout the centuries. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus, 500 BCE, stated: “No man can ever enter a river twice, because it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
With little insight, assumptions run rampant and rash judgments are meted out, usually as sterile labels: conservative, radical, elitist, shallow, shiftless, etc. However, these seemingly embedded “traits” are not stagnant, and are as amenable to change as a river’s meandering toward the sea.
Imagine randomly choosing a chapter in a book and concluding from that brief exposure, a beginning and projected ending. This would undoubtedly be “hit and miss.” So, too, are chapters of our lives that provide mere footnotes; a smattering of impressions that ebb, flow and frequently alter course.
In this divisive period, let us allow “others” their due and delve deeper to gain perspective. In this process, we may dispel prior “chapter” judgments of “us” as well.
“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality,” wrote Nikos Kazantzakis.
Paula Ann Costis, Fresno