Zoom Out, Do Without: The Bird’s Eye View of Life

I was teaching a lesson to my grade eleven students on the elements of a documentary. We were discussing the different camera angles used to create effective shots within a documentary and I introduced the bird’s eye view angle. This is defined as a “shot taken from directly overhead, typically very far, making the audience feel God-like or able to see the larger view of things”. This got me thinking about how we use, or don’t use, the bird’s eye view angle in our day to day lives. As a society, we become so absorbed in our trivial happenings that we often forget to zoom out and take in the bigger picture. How is what we are currently experiencing, now, in this moment, affecting our overall energy and future? As humans, if we would consistently zoom out to take in the larger view of things, we would be able to understand not only ourselves but other human beings more in depth. We would be able to make real connections with others and could potentially create more positive outcomes in our lives. Sometimes the chaotic, day-to-day monotony impacts us in ways we cannot begin to understand. I think that if we zoomed out and understood how our current decisions are impacting not only us but those around us, we would make for a better society as a whole.

Communities are inherently natural for us to thrive as individuals. As a race, we naturally form communities so that we  can coexist with others and receive the love and nurturing that we so need to feel complete. What we fail to recognize is that in order for our communities to survive and thrive we need to continuously nurture each other as a group as opposed to individually. We become so entangled with this idea of self advancement that our communities suffer. Consequently, others suffer for our own gains whether large or small. Instead, we should try zooming out and see how our self advancement is affecting the bigger picture in our society, not only individually. It is not enough to self-serve and leave others behind. We should work hard to build ourselves up as a group instead of alone. In turn, we will feel confident knowing that we are selfless as opposed to selfish. By sending that positivity into the universe,  you are pleasing the Creator and in turn will be bountifully rewarded.

More importantly, zooming out can help change the entire course of a life. We can become so wrapped up in the daily struggle that we forget to look to what is important to us. So often I look at my students and wish they would zoom out even for a minute. Get a look at the bigger picture and understand how the choices they are making are affecting so many aspects of their lives both present and future. I try to make this my mantra: Zoom Out, Do Without. Most times, when I zoom out I realize that the things that seem important to me in that moment really have nothing to do with my personal or community advancement. By deciding to do without, I can gain further insights into valuing important ideas in life and be confident that the future will be plentiful. Life is not about getting wrapped up in trivial arguments and personal promotions. It is about building up others as much as if not more than yourself and celebrating all of life’s little victories. Do your best to get the bigger picture, strive to be happy, and do unto others. Your future self will thank you!

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