Sunday, July 5, 2009

Being Inspired by Others

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

— Marcel Proust

The most effective way of discovery, of "having new eyes, " is to associate with those with different ideas who challenge yours.

What's needed most here? I'd say humility, openness and strength.


Marion said...

That's one of my favorite quotes, Judith. And I'm really trying to have a more open mind, especially about politics. But I have a hard time with others who sat cruel things about people just because of their political beliefs.


dave wheeler said...


What a terrific thought "to associate with those whose different ideas who challenge yours." In doing so one exposes themselves to many things for sure. I have learned that very often what you find out is that although you may have real differences one one or two things, you have common ground on many others. That's how terrific coalitions get started...

Thanks as always for the new knowledge!

Linda S. Socha said...

This is absolutely so true. It so absolutely requires a new commitment to do so daily...sometimes hourly

Judith Ellis said...

Yes, Marion, I understand. Most things of value are not easy.

Regarding politics, one of my dearest friends is as diverse from me than anyone. He thinks Limbaugh is a hoot. I don't. He's an ultra conservative. I'm not. But I love him dearly and I have grown a lot in our many years of friendship.

If I'm not mistaken, you are a fan of Sarah Palin. As you well know, I am most certainly not. But it is not merely because of her political beliefs.

Palin is utterly ill-suited and unqualified to serve on the national level, and obviously not on the state-wide level either. Her resignation of the governorship proves this.

BTW - My friend agrees with me here.

Many blessings to you, Marion!

Judith Ellis said...

"I have learned that very often what you find out is that although you may have real differences one one or two things, you have common ground on many others."

Dave - I agree with this as well as the link to coalitions. Respect of course is important, even in moments of flair, forgiveness too.

Judith Ellis said...

Linda - Yes! Being conscious daily, even hourly is indeed important. I try to be aware of this, of my defensiveness of long-held beliefs. Also, many of us can slip into a daily consciousness of missing the mark, knowing that we should be moving forward but seem unable to do so simply because of our inactivity and choice. This too inhibits discovery. That is why my idea is to simply put yourself in those kinds of situations. There is movement there that requires continous conscious thought and action.

The Write Girl said...

Hey Judith,

I agree with your sentiments. Openness is certainly needed when dealing with people who have diverse views. It's interesting that you should quote Proust. I read Swann's Way in college and I really like him. His entire piece spans about 3000 pages or so. I would love to read his other volumes.

Judith Ellis said...

Hey, The Write Girl! Yes, Proust is an all-time favorite. I LOVE "Rememberance of Things Past." Nobody fills space with memories as Proust and make them come alive in real time. Reading Proust is a complete sensory experience.

septembermom said...

I've been trying to discover the part of me that can handle negativity and slander. As you know, I'm feeling the cold shoulder from one of my neighbors since a confrontation about a bully situation. I'm trying to have "new eyes" to see where her hurt is coming from and not to take her verbal attacks personally. This process is painful at times, but I am grateful to discover resources of strength within me. This is a voyage of self-discovery that I hope I can weather towards a positive outcome. Thanks for the quote, Judith!

Judith Ellis said...

Yes, Kelly, I do know about that situation with your neighbor and you seem to be handling it all rather well. What is for sure is that we are only responsible for our actions and attitudes. We should never seek to change others, even though how we respond to adverse situations in love can have a most positive effect. Love also shows itself differently but is always humble. This is my gauge no matter the intensity or passion of any situation or the lack thereof. Continued success, Kelly. Let me know if you need a pair of ears, my friend.

Ryan Freed said...

Great quote. I have been confronted this past year with many differing views at the University of Minnesota. I grew up in NY and the school is primarily people from the midwest. It is a very different lifestlye and I have already learned so much. I have 3 more years there to keep it going.

Marion, I agree with you. Many people are very stubborn with their political views and as a result are cruel to differeing views. Openess is the key!

Judith, as always thanks for the thought provoking quote.

Judith Ellis said...

Ryan - Pleasure. With regards to your statement about cruelty, cruelty to one may be frankness and honesty to another. Motives matter in differences of opinions as well as humbling ourselves when necessary. Some people prefer not to be challenged or want that challenge to come as they so desire and are offended and angered when it does not. Openness requires the ability to consider that you may be wrong and listening in order to test your own beliefs. This does not, however, mean that you do not hold your own beliefs steadfastly, but that you are open to those of others and to change.

CathM said...

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." (Marcel Proust)

Judith, what a great quote! It reminds us that often when going through the trials and tribulations of life it is not really about ‘running away’ or seeking a ‘way out’ per se but often it is a matter of seeking a ‘new perspective’ (and understanding) in the situation.

An aside: I watched the thrilling men’s Wimbledon finals yesterday and it struck me that Roddick played awfully well – he gave the game his all but still came up short at the final hurdle. It must be hard to keep facing the same opponent and failing to ‘beat him’. It’d be great to read a post on ‘Being Andy Roddick’ (his gutsy play against one of the world’s greats was a real testimony and inspiration). It makes me think that sometimes ‘hard work’ doesn’t always mean ‘success’(as the world determines it) as it would seem that luck has a lot to do with it too. And, luck was on Federer’s side yesterday. It was an excellent game but it’s made me ponder a lot. With my 'new eyes' me thinks that Roddick was an 'equal and deserving winner' yesterday even though he just lost out to Federer (smile)!

Judith Ellis said...

Catherine - It's good to see you. Have you resumed writing online again?

Your perspective on the quote is interesting. This is the beautiful thing about others; we often see things differently often based on our own experiences, producing a different outlook. Thank you.

YES, what a thrilling Men's Final at Wimbledon, as was the Semi-Final between Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva. I'm sure many opponents feel the same way about playing the Williams' sisters as many do about playing Federer, although Serena has lost more than a few times to Dementieva.

It was clear to me that while it was tough that Serena was determined not to be denied. Sometimes it's a sheer refusal of such and the toughtest mentally throughout the match gets the edge, if the other lets down for a minute. Serena had played with such heart up to that point through the match with Venus.

I wonder if how we view these things matter. While it seems important to get the ultimate prize, there is no doubt that in one important regards Roddick has elevated his game tremendously and will undoubtedly beat Federer sooner or later.

Just imagine if Roddick had not elevated his game throughout the year, thinking that he could not win against Federer? (Champions are meant to topple in time.) We would not have had such a thrilling game and he probably will not be as determined the next time to win.

Roddick is clearly on the level of Federer and it is a matter of time if continues playing the way he played in the Final. I hope he feels like a winner. In my book he is!