Do you only see the black dot? No…this isn’t an eye test, but it is a question you can ask yourself. But, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Forget that question for a few minutes. Read this story about the black dot first…
The Black Dot
One day, a professor entered his classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin.
The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.
To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions–just a black dot in the center of the paper. The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.” The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud in front of all the students.
All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain:
“I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same thing happens in our lives. However, we insist on focusing only on the black dot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds. Take your the eyes away from the black dots in your lives. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love!”
Now, I ask…
Do you only see the black dot? Are you the person who only sees the negative things that happen in your life? Your car that is too old and falling apart? The relationship that needs some help? The house that’s not the big one you always dreamed about? Do you ask yourself why you’re not happy? If you do, I ask you, “Do you only see the black dot?”
If you’re only seeing the black dots in your life, then it may be time to step back and take inventory of all the blessings you have. True, some people are truly challenged in life. But even then, those are the black dots on the paper versus all the white that’s everything else. Look at the life Helen Keller lived. At 19 months old, she contracted an unknown illness that affected her stomach and brain, leaving her both deaf and blind. But look at the life she lived. All she heard and saw from the age of 19 months old was darkness. But she didn’t focus on that. She didn’t focus on the black spots.
If you’re unhappy in life, you need to start looking for all the positives in your life. I’m not saying we should ignore the black dots, but instead work on and with them. You have a choice. You can chose to be a victim of the black dots on your page or be thankful for all the white space to write a new story. I don’t know about you, but I choose the white space. I’m writing a better story.