It’s human nature to see all from our own lens of experience , knowledge , interactions , what we listen to , read , are exposed to in the course of a day , week or years.
It’s comfortable , easy and reassuring
Acknowledge it , challenge it , reaffirm it , develop it , and work hard to see the world through another’s lens or eyes. It can be fulfilling , rewarding , keep you sharp and enthused about all that life has to offer.
Reminded of this in a visit to Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner , South Carolina just a few miles from our home , virtually our backyard . Here , about a dozen Trappist monks live and have been living for nearly 80 years since the land was donated to them by the Luce family , owners of TIME magazine.
Just a few minutes from the freeway are acres of land dedicated to gardens , serenity, farming , praying , reading , work for those that have not been off the grounds for decades possibly.
Finding peace in solitude , camaraderie , their God , a job well done , interacting with nature, periodically engaging the curious for those considering joining them.
Not sure how long I could last in their program entitled, “become a monk for a month“.
I’m serious , there is such a thing .
I would hate to think that I might be the last monk for a month due to the wake that I left after attempting a sedate life of worship . Don’t get me wrong, in some ways , I envy that and am in awe.
I would like to think that I can appreciate how they can do it for years, bring some of that peace, serenity , faith and silence to a hectic life and self-inflicted urgency and drama ; continue to seek out and appreciate others, making the person I am more complete, self-aware and a better contributor to the lives of others around me.
Either way , I took a moment to talk to one of the caretakers on the grounds , learned of their work , lifestyle , history and discovered that one of the Luce ladies had roots in Wi , where I grew up .
You don’t have to travel too far to step into another world . Sometimes it’s a few miles away , flying cross country , really listening to someone or reconnecting with people you knew long ago .
Imagine the perspective and insight I would have if I was in the monastery for a whole month !