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LostInParadise's avatar

What was the last thing you learned that changed how you look at the world?

Asked by LostInParadise (17924 points ) October 19th, 2012

It does not have to be anything major or life altering, just something that in some small but permanent way altered your view of things.

I recently attended a class on mosses. I had low expectations. I have always considered moss as a kind of slime and figured that it must be made up of single cell organisms like algae.

At the start of the class, the instructor had us look at moss samples through a hand lens. I was completely blown away. It was like looking at a miniature forest. Each moss plant in the colony had at least one stem and leaf. There was quite a bit of variety among the samples. Some moss had needles like evergreens and some had flat leaves. While I do not quite share the instructor’s enthusiasm for moss, I will never look at it the same way. I plan on using a hand lens to take a closer look the next time I find some moss.

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17 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I learned to stop thinking I’m Superman and invincible and to listen to someone else’s advice when something happens, like I get bit by some damn bug. I was on here talking with a jelly and they were telling me to take it serious as I described what was happening. I didn’t. I almost got the big dirt nap. I’ll listen next time.

JLeslie's avatar

Come to my lawn! LOL. I have been throwing down lime all summer to kill off the moss. My neighbor and husband think I am nuts, because in their view it is green and you don’t have to mow it.

Meanwhile, I share your awe of nature. I am fascinated at how patterns repeat in nature. I saw a film documentary about Prince Charles and his incredible enthusiasm and efforts in the sphere of recycling, reusable energy, and nature in general. Within the movie there was a piece about patterns in nature and using them to make more efficient tools, tools of flight, and other things. For me it reinforced a feeling that we are all connected with each other and nature. People usually talk about that in a spiritual sense, but for me, my first feeling of that was many years ago in High School learning that all living things are made from the same genetic material just the DNA is in different sequences and longer or shorter strands. Plants, animals, humans are all sequences of CTAG. It is miraculous to me. I don’t believe in God, but I find that piece of knowledge makes feel like life is boundless, and spectacular, and I feel it more and more as I get older.

But, that is not my most recent event that has happened, your story just triggered me to think of that one, as it was quite significant to me.

The most recent is more of an interpersonal thing. I had a series of things happen close together that really drove home I can’t please everyone. I am the social chairperson for a club we belong to, so there is always someone annyed with some event (although overwhelming I get positive reinfircement) and a couple weeks ago my MIL was visiting (it went well overall) but the two things combined have officially changed my world view in that I am going to be more selfish going forward, listen to my gut, and care less about the static (other people’s voices) around me.

One other thing that recently happened was for whatever reason I recently had an aha moment about spending money. Generally I am very careful with money, but a few months ago I was struggling with a money decision, and my husband did something where he suddenly spent a lot of money on something, and now I kind of feel like f$&k it, I am not going to stress about possibly wasting some money.

Coloma's avatar

The most important thing I have learned in the last decade is that nothing is ever “personal.” When dealing with screwed up and difficult people there is no “personal”, meaning, they would behave the same way with anyone, it has nothing to do with you.
This makes it much easier to let go of stuff when you remind yourself of this ultimate truth.
It doesn’t matter what the issue is, liars lie, cheaters cheat, manipulators manipulate, it’s the way they ARE and has nothing to do with you.

JLeslie's avatar

@Coloma Interesting. I think my husband has been trying to tell me that, but I could not really hear what he was saying. You might have just become the last thing I learned that changed my world,

Shippy's avatar

I realized how flaky my social life was when my desk top crashed.

ucme's avatar

The big end of the telescope has to be facing the sky.

Coloma's avatar

@JLeslie Wow, I’m honored! But, it’s not “personal”, YOUR’E just ready to hear it! :-D

Judi's avatar

I recently had a sort of spiritual epiphany. I realized that this whole fear of hell thing is man made and not of God. It changes the way I approach the church and the world and even my family. I no longer feel the need to worry about anyone’s eternal salvation. That may not sound like much, but it changed everything. I can focus on love and abandon fear.

jonsblond's avatar

I used to fret about the past and either dream or worry about the future. A health scare over the summer reminded me to enjoy the now, especially time spent with my family. I’ve learned to worry less and enjoy what little I am blessed with. I also learned how powerful good thoughts and prayers can be. They are not empty words.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond Yes, the power of NOW! :-)
Being fully in the moment and not lost somewhere in the fiction of mind. The past is gone, forever, and the future only exists in ones head. Lifes wakeup calls always bring hidden gifts.

I too have also realized that really, there is nothing all that important in this life. Everything is of a transient nature and, ultimately, our entire lifespan ends up, summed up, by a one inch dash on a headstone between birth and death. lol

Make that dash count! :-)

BBawlight's avatar

I figured out recently that I should stop trying to change how other people are. When they turn away from me, they might not even remember who I am the next time we meet and will go about as if nothing had happened. They won’t even think about the information I had given them. People aren’t going to stop doing what they do because one person (being me) told them that they didn’t like it.

deni's avatar

Moss is amazing! I have a friend who is a bryologist. That’s a moss scientist!! At first I was like, what, come on. NOW, I’M SO IMPRESSED. Moss and Lychen are endlessly fascinating!!!!

I learned from a great TED talk recently that if two redwoods are growing beside each other and one gets a disease or starts to die, the healthy one will grow into the dead one and provide it with nutrients to keep it alive. They kind of become the same tree! That is amazing, and things like that are the reason creationists make me LLLLOOOLLLL.

flutherother's avatar

I was cycling passed a wall this summer when I was struck by how the thick moss on the top of the wall was illuminated by the low rays of the sun revealing the intricate detail you usually don’t notice. I took a picture of the moss and blew it up when I got home so I know exactly what you mean.

Other than that my visit to Herculaneum last month blew my mind. Walking through a city that was abandoned 2,000 years ago was a fascinating experience for me. It made me interested in the Romans and their civilization and comparing it with how we live today.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, in my area we have tons of different mosses everywhere. I have huge oak trees that have emerald velvet mosses growing on the south facing branches and trunks, and spanish moss and all sorts of lichens too. I actually used to have a moss ball bowl planted with islands of moss. Moss is extremely cool!

Sunny2's avatar

I have unhappily learned that many people have no trouble telling lies about anything they choose. They hold no allegiance to truth if it’s more convenient to tell a lie. Embroidering the truth to make a story being told socially more exciting is common with some people. They are also suspicious of people who tell of experiences they think are bogus. Case in point, I mentioned in my high school reunion comments, that I had sung, with my chorale, at Carnegie Hall. They didn’t believe me. I was upset until I realized that that was more a comment about them, than about me. They were used to telling lies. I was not.

Blondesjon's avatar

Snape killed Dumbledore.

Symbeline's avatar

@Blondesjon tell me it ain’t so

One thing that changed my outlook on life is that there are a lot of people that kick ass. In the last year I was helped by a few for my drinking problem, and this helped me appreciate life and people way more. I just hope I ain’t jinxing myself.

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