Recently, I was looking out over the horizon of the San Francisco bay. This is usually a view that inspires; the shimmering water, the blue sky, and the spectacular outline of the mountains can captivate even the most cynical of hearts. Right now, all this beauty is obscured by the haze, smoke and ash of the fires burning nearby. Because I can’t see these things that inspire and delight me, does that mean that they are no longer there?
A horizon is the limit of our sight.
I’ve been thinking about what my horizons are in relation to how I see the value and beauty within others. In truth, we have only the faintest understandings of what someone else has experienced, the fullness of their individuality, or the expansiveness of their potential. Sometimes, the smokescreen of ego tricks us into thinking we know enough about someone that we can judge them.
Yet this would be like deciding that the vista of the San Francisco bay is without beauty, when it is only my own sight which is limited right now.
Human perception is reductive by nature. When we approach the world with humility and curiosity and meditate, without judgment or stereotype, on the unique paths of those whose shoes we may never walk in– this is empathy.
And from here, the view always holds beauty.