This morning, I sat on the North steps of the porch hoping to see what the Hawks were up to. These are not quiet Hawks, especially in the morning. As a result, I quickly located two of them. One was calling from the Northeast, and one from the Northwest. Then two flew out of the woods and joined the one in the Northwest. As I sat there noticing, it occurred to me how open I was to what they had to teach me. I was not critiquing them, or judging them, or thinking I had a better idea about what they should be doing. I was simply open to what was happening in front of me, and paying attention, joyfully curious about what might happen next.

Our culture teaches me to look at others from a critical perspective. In fact, much of the pessimism I experience about what we will and will not be able to achieve comes not from thoughts about what we are capable of personally, but what others won't be able to do, or the shortcomings of our neighbors.

Today, I will be doing my best to see others the same way I see my Hawk neighbors: As teachers who can change my perspective and shake me out of a view shaped only by my fears and expectations.