All right! Another Monday, another week, and another beginning. Beginnings are opportunities and each week is a sort of mini-beginning, a restart to the race. Today I plan on spending more time than is usual doing some writing which would be a good beginning for me, personally. I hope your start is a great one, too.
Thursday past HappyGumbo’s post was encouragement to be who you wish to be, act as you would like others to perceive you, become the person you most admire. In keeping with that, today’s repost is a little gem of perspective with a tiny talisman of wisdom.
London’s Underground train system continually advises passengers to “mind the gap.” This refers to the gap between the train door and the platform floor. It’s analagous to “watch your step.”
Find the gap then mind the gap.
In the movie “Notes on a Scandal” Dame Judi Dench’s character, Sheba Hart, mutters to herself “mind the gap…”
Later in the film she tells that her father would say “mind the gap” and she explains it’s the “distance between life as you dream it and life as it is.” (Dench’s character doesn’t have dreams as in aspirations and goals; no, she has imagined a close, personal, strange relationship with the Cate Blanchett character that in no way exists. The connotation of “dream” is usually either sleeping visions or conscious goals; however, Dench’s character has only imaginings. For her, the gap is between her imagination and reality.)
I see an interesting correlation between this and another maxim I first heard in eighth grade from my science teacher, Mr. Weinke. He was short with dark hair, graying beard, wire-rim spectacles, a slight Germanic accent, and always wore a dark suit with tie. He could’ve stepped out of a group picture of Einstein and Bohr and Heisenberg.
There will be suits, and ties.
He told us, “There are three of you…” and he paused, letting the strange and untrue statement sink into a classroom of teenage brains. (Mr. Weinke was a man of drama, once offering extra credit to whomever would take a drink of his glycerin concoction. I drank it and it the texture was weird and the taste was kind of gross and I got extra credit.) Smiling, he explained, “There is the you that you think you are; there is the you that others think you are; and there is the you that you really are.”
As Cosmo Kraemer might say, “You just blew my mind!”
Considering the fallacies possible in self-perception, and considering the varied ways a person can be perceived, and knowing that, in the end, we are what we are, it becomes very clear that we should “mind the gap.”
“Be yourself, not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” Henry David Thoreau