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Can we trust our first impressions?

It can be interesting, instructive, and fun, too, to keep an eye on our thoughts once in a while. Sometimes the antics of my mind make me laugh, they really do. They have no relationship to reality at all.

For example, I was sitting in one of my favorite chairs at the coffee shop this week, a foot perched comfortably on another chair, when I noticed an elderly gentleman sitting by himself at an outdoor table in front of the coffee shop.

Iā€™d guess he was about my own age, perhaps a couple of years older.

“Poor man. He looks a bit lost and lonely,” I thought, noticing how he kept gazing with a troubled look on his face at the nearby parking lot. “Perhaps he’s having a difficult time in life.”

Mostly, I like to read, or do a bit of meditating when I’m at the coffee shop. But I also enjoy keeping an eye on the passing scene as I sip my latte.

So after a few minutes reading my book I took another look at the lonely old man sitting at a table outside the window.

Suddenly a younger woman walked towards him. I watched as the man stood up with a beam of pleasure on his face and welcomed her to his table.

Perhaps the woman was his daughter. How do I know? But it quickly became very apparent that they were having a very nice time together and that the man wasn’t really “old” at all.

He was delighted with life. His joy and sense of humor was palpable. He radiated cheerfulness. To be honest, I would have liked to be out there chatting with him myself.

As it was, I had to content myself with thinking how odd and wildly inaccurate our first thoughts and impressions can sometimes be.

I could not have been more wrong in my initial assessment of this man.

And I realized again ā€“ a lesson that never seems to grow old ā€“ that there is only one way to live a truly happy and creative life. It is to remember the stillness and strength and humility of our true nature and see our world with eyes of love.

As another Easter rolls around, and spring, in my part of the world, works its magic, I send best wishes and love to you. If you have any thoughts on the above, please share.


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