I thoroughly enjoy reading the Sunday paper each week. Recently, there was an article where the journalist had the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of the greatest minds in our current time, Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist. One question posed to him was about his analogy of what a goldfish and human beings have in common. The question was: “What can a goldfish teach us about the nature of reality?” I was so intrigued by this thought provoking question and its relevance to us. I was very curious as to how this great thinker would respond to such an inquiry. He replied that a goldfish lives in a round bowl of water and from their point of view it is in reality, a distorted one. An imprecise picture of the world is all the goldfish is capable of seeing. Therefore, the fish has a totally different perception of reality than a human being would have. Hawking then further challenges us with offering another perplexing question: “But how do we know we have the right picture?” Following that concept further, we might be seeing our world, our reality in some giant fish bowl. In essence, the goldfish’s vantage point and perspective is as valid as our own. Hawking feels that there is no “unique” picture of reality. Each of us has our own. As you conduct yourself in your life, how distorted or real is your perception of reality? Or for that matter, how willing and open are you to see another’s point of view? What can you learn from seeing things clearly? What could you gain from a 360 degree perspective?
Such an interesting paradox - that is so simple yet so complex in its impact that it truly resonated with me. It still does, how about you? Perhaps the next time you see a lonely goldfish in a fish bowl you’ll pause and think - Amazing!
As always, I invite your comments.