This past week, I published the below quote from Henry James as my daily “Wow, that’s a Thought”**:
“Innocent and infinite are the pleasures of observation.”
Why did that strike such a chord with me when I read it and why am I writing about it today?
First, because of its seeming simplicity.
What makes it seem simple?
Well, most of us have eyes and we do a lot of seeing with them.
But Mr. James doesn’t say seeing, he says observing—and that’s where things get tricky.
Because most of us do not simply observe.
We judge. We discriminate between. We prefer something (or someone) and have an aversion to something (or someone.)
And these aversions can cause us to act in ways that cause ourselves, or others, pain.
So, as we head into August where—despite the holiday-vibe, temperatures have the potential to make tempers run hot—I thought I’d send along this reminder to (try to) simply observe.
It sounds simple.
It’s not easy.
AND it has the potential to transport you to places of infinite and innocent pleasures.
Enjoy your mental vacations.
For more on the value of observing, look at 4 Shades of Grey: Pain vs. Sensation, Desire vs. Craving
** Want to sign up for the daily, “Wow, that’s a Thought”? Do so here.