One person walks down the street quickly, looking straight ahead, barely seeing anything, aware of the wind or sunshine perhaps, prepared to reach his goal, noting how long it's taking and looking forward to the restaurant to fill his belly or whatever else is immediately ahead. The friend walking next to him registers every colorful house along the way, enjoys the architecturally-diverse and artistic eaves and moldings, notices the gardens with the multi-colored bushes and flowers, hears a few bird songs, sees a few cool cars pass and analyzes some people who pass, especially their style of talk, walk and dress. Who's life is richer?
In a day, someone can live peacefully, in a quiet, routine way. I might call that boring, but who am I to judge? Maybe that person feels OK, doesn't need a lot of stimulation and doesn't want to think too hard. Maybe she is depressed and doesn't allow in anything out of the ordinary. Same old TV shows, house chores, and websites. Maybe her thoughts are deeper than I know or give her credit for. But it's also easy to get stuck with tunnel vision and miss so much. The same person could add in a little variety, maybe check out a new and different TV show or movie, call a friend, cook or eat something unusual, or play a game, even just think outside the box a little. Would she grow emotionally? Would her life expand and be somehow more worthwhile?
From my perspective, I'm grateful for the variety and tremendous richness of living which comes from having a big worldview, from letting in a lot of stimulation, from observing everything and everyone around, from thinking and analyzing without obsessing, just enjoying and learning. As I work with people in need or in pain, it's important not to project my own style and choice of lifestyle or personality style on them. It's enough to help them see options and choose for themselves. What worries me, or at least serves as a curiosity, is when I see someone seem to miss out on so much living by narrow perspective, few interests, lack of curiosity, shallow or literal thinking, xenophobia, restricted experience, fear of the unknown--all characterized by tunnel vision (of the mind)