A Different View

I wrote this on December 30, when I had decided to take a break from posting to my blog. I may eventually post many of the other things I wrote during that time of restraint. This is the sort of stuff I write to and for myself. I’m a child. 

Yesterday, I suddenly wanted to know how my view of the world would be different if I were several inches taller. Like, instead of being just shy of five feet, eight inches tall, if I were six feet two inches tall. I don’t recall ever before wondering how the world would look different if I were taller. Maybe I have wondered. But, if so, the memory didn’t stick. At any rate, I stepped on the lower rung of a small stepladder and had a look around. The world did, indeed, look different. I had climbed that stepladder innumerable times before, but always with a mission in mind; reach something on a shelf, for example, that I could not reach without assistance. But yesterday, I took time to look beneath me, to see how far I was from the floor; I noticed how slightly smaller objects on the counter top looked.

The lower rung of the ladder was ten inches from the floor. So, instead of seeing the world as it would look at six-two, I saw it as it would look at six-six. I bent down a bit to see it closer to my target height. It looked different than from my normal diminutive stature and different from my tall-guy vantage point. Physical distance from the ground colors one’s perception of the world, I decided. Looking down at the tops of heads makes the world look different than looking at the sides of heads.

I only spent a few moments surveying the world from a taller person’s perspective, but those few moments changed my understanding of height. Greater height gives one a sense of dominion; undeservedly, perhaps, but there it is. If I could arrange for my feet to be six inches thicker, I might just do it. But I might discover unintended consequences; like being unable to run or walk without great difficulty. The sheer added weight beneath my current soles might be impossible to accept. After getting my wife to agree to allow me to have six-inch-thicker feet, I might beg for corrective surgery to return me to semi-runtdom.

***

I’ve noticed that I have devolved into silliness and stark idiocy. I do not like that. Usually, it’s the result of trying to come to grips with something solemn and being unable to accept what I’m thinking. So I get stupid and act like an eight-year-old kid, complete with a child’s imbecilic sense of humor. I maybe using words like stupid and idiocy and imbecilic in ways that are insensitive and offensive. I need to try harder to be a decent human being.

 

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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