Observing the effects

Drew pauses to take in the landscape during our Kilauea Crater hike, 1992

Drew takes in the landscape during our Kilauea Crater hike, Hawaii (the big island) 1992

“The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.”Bertrand Russell

What we see and experience changes us forever.  This is one reason it’s so important to feed our minds and senses with a healthy diet.  How often do we focus on what we are viewing, tasting or hearing without examining the effects of these stimuli on our minds and bodies?  Do we feed our minds and spirits haphazardly, taking in whatever presents itself– or even worse, what advertisers choose to show us? Or do we plan our leisure hours with purpose, making sure to include the beautiful, good or uplifting choices that are often drowned out by the demanding chaos of noise?  Let’s prioritize feeding our senses with a steady diet of excellence in music, art, nature, reading and all other forms of spiritual nourishment, to counteract the disruptive or destructive messages that assault us from many directions.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. You can view the original with comments here.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    Wow, your kids were so lucky to have such amazing, broad horizons that you provided for them as they grew.
    This photo reminds me of when I took my kids to the South Dakota Badlands; it was almost “otherworldly.” We all really enjoyed that, and the Grand Canyon, too.
    I think these vistas really inspire our imaginations.

    • I’ve never seen the Badlands, but perhaps I will one day. The great national parks of the west were one of the few destinations on Jeff’s list of what he wanted to see before he died, that we never got to visit. Yes, such places start the wheels turning, if only to bring out the child in us, for whom everything was new.

      • Having young children was a great excuse to visit those places, too, and they shared their enthusiasm so freely.

        • Yes, and now I’m having to learn to give myself permission to do things without having children and grandchildren along as an excuse. Back to that inner child again! 😀

  2. Agreed!

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