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Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Bird's eye view

Life's a drag, many people say but then it must be the only drag force known to cause incessant motion. Funny, isn't it?

Most people go about life in a very routine way, seldom pausing to think differently. In most cases this has to do with the incessant flow of events and our reactions towards them. I feel that our reactions and not the events themselves, determine the course of our lives. Agreed that life is ironic and strange. But equally strange is the fact that with each event, God gave each one of us the power to change ourselves and thus, our lives at any moment of time. We may have little control over the events that were destined by God. But for each such event we get some choices. A choice to fret about this change or to take corrective action or to adapt.

It's always fascinated me that most people are so scared of change. Maybe this is the bane of self-awareness. If you remove this aspect from the equations, life becomes so much easier. For each event, our instinct guides us to a response to be followed without deliberation and the world becomes free of criticism. The conflict still remains though. Since you don't stop to think, you don't try to estimate the outcomes and the fear of change vanishes from the mind. Animals follow this exact procedure. But then, we don't call our human race an intelligent one for nothing. The ability to be aware about our surroundings, to take deliberate action, to ponder upon the reasons for our existence, to acquire knowledge and to apply it to areas which, at first, do not seem logically related, is what intelligence is all about. This definition is by no means complete and may not even be entirely correct. It's just what I feel.

Unfortunately, the need to conform to social standards, to be accepted and appreciated holds back many from accomplishing great things. To break free, you need to see things from a higher level. This is what the bird's eye view is all about. Rising above the crowd and it's noise is no easy task. But it's a task that one must undertake to realise the locked potential in each one of us. I've been trying and I'll continue to try so that one day I may also experience the euphoria that comes along with the higher level. And I believe there's no end to this journey.

I have found that the Bird's eye view is a very effective technique to understand newer aspects and plausible reactions that one could never have seen with the perspective one follows in the normal course. It gives more than just a clear view, it enhances our understanding and thus our ability to think differently. The next time you get stuck, take a moment out of the normal and see things through the Bird's eye view.

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Committer on Apache Solr. Principal Software Engineer at AOL.

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