This past weekend I spent a beautiful afternoon at my brother Steve’s farm. Many of my siblings were camped out there and we enjoyed a potluck dinner, campfire and some fireworks together. Of special note, Steve has about half an acre of lilacs, and they were all in full bloom for the affair; the fragrance was huge and the colourful flowers just took my breath away.
Here’s the thing, when my brother looks at the lilacs, he sees a weed. When I asked if I could dig a couple of the shrubs up to move to my house, he said he would rent a backhoe; he hates the lilacs.
I am always amazed at how people see the same things so differently. I see a lovely field flanked on all sides by beauty and my brother sees yet more farm work, the clearing out of rows of the shrubs that keep on spreading and encroaching on his fields.
We have different roles in the space – I am relaxing and he is relying on the farmland for growing crops. There are so many layers to our experiences and our roles, and our opinions based on where we are. Yet this is yet another reminder that we all need to have a little patience, to take a moment for a little reflection on how things might look different and a little perspective on the other person’s vantage point. I love lilacs, but I do not think that I want an acre of them either.