What don’t you see?

Yesterday was my son’s birthday. He was excited for weeks about it and ecstatic on the day. It was lovely to see and join in with.

But it was also a special day for me and my wife. It’s the anniversary of when we became parents.

In many ways that’s a bigger deal than us getting married. Having a child with us on the journey changed our lives in a way getting married didn’t. And we have more to be proud of, more accomplishments from being parents than being spouses.

It’s not to take away from our son’s special day, but it’s also a big one for us too.

And that made me think: what else is going on around us day-to-day that we don’t see? What other interpretations are there for every day events?

Let’s say you buy a car. Is there a salesperson just making their quarterly commission, or even keeping their job? Is someone selling their prized possession so they can buy a ring to propose to their partner?

Or you run a local sports club. Is that the favourite time of week for the children (and their in-need-of-a-break parents)? Are you creating memories that stay with them forever?

We all see life through our own lens, but if you can stop and reflect on other perspectives in the moment, what might it do for you? Can it give you a richer experience? Are there opportunities for connection with other people?

In central London, next door to my office, is a cafe that facilitates exactly this kind of awareness and connection. Social Bite allows you to buy a coffee / snack for someone who’s homeless, when you make a purchase. You leave a credit on a ‘wish board’ and they can then come in and claim it.

Whether you donate or not, the profits from your order help other people. And the experience of going in there forces a change in perspective.

So, my challenge to you. Over the next week, what can you see that you didn’t see before?

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