Expanding the Focus

It is easy to become angry about a situation when we believe are needs aren’t being met. It is easy to see someone as our “enemy” when they have communicated something we don’t want to hear.

What is hard to do is to pause and consider the many ways in which our “big problem” is actually a cumulation of many smaller events that have occurred over a period of time, outside of our awareness. The father who is abusive was once abused by his father, and he by his. The boss who makes an unpopular decision is only following through with the demands of his boss who, in turn, adheres to the whims of a demanding organization.

Expanding the focus beyond a single person or event can ease our emotional distress by helping us see the trajectory of causation. Perhaps we can be more compassionate toward others if we realize that they are not solely to blame; that they too are subject to the movements of forces much bigger than themselves and, like us, are powerless over most everything in life.

Written by Tony Madril

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