I have a theory.fish bowl It's just a theory or a bunch of thoughts. Recent events have made me think about it more. Life can get crazy. We get caught up in our to do lists. Both for home and for work. So often I think we get stuck in our own lives, I like to call them our fish bowls. Too often we mistake our fish bowls as the ocean. We can get so wrapped in our fish bowls, that we forget to realize that the ocean is out there. We get into our routines of daily living. Wake up, run, make breakfast for the family, get kids to school, go to work, groan, lunch, crap forgot my lunch, more work, phone calls, groan, end of the day, get home, clean the house, feed the kids, talk with family, work on home to do list, do some more work, put feet up for a few minutes... ok well that's most of my days. After a while you get so used to your own fish bowl you forget that the ocean is even out there. The ocean is much bigger. It has a system in how it continues to feed to itself. It has a way of flowing. Sure it's not without it's own issues and difficulties, but it's larger, it has space, it has possibilities beyond your imagination.It has both freedom and restrictions.

What do you think happens when you mistake your fishbowl as the ocean? You just keep hitting that glass wall. You keep going no where. You keep imagining that somehow, someway you might just swim further. So you keep swimming in circles. We have a fish named Thomas. He's a betta fish. He's dumb. I put a mirror by his fish bowl and he gets like Foghorn Leghorn. He thinks he has a fight about to happen for his territory. Truth is he's still stuck in his fish bowl.

I, like many people, have been following what's been happening in Haiti. I'm realizing how much of a fish bowl I'm sitting in. The ocean is much bigger than my fish bowl. The ocean is just waiting for me to jump into it.

It reminds me of Finding Nemo. My little corner of the reef is safe and comfortable. I like it in my little home, away from the open water. Marlin never lived until he went into the open water. His questions of the unknown were never answered until he swam into the open water. If I want to make any sort of impact I need to look beyond my fish bowl and jump into the open water. It's waiting for me. I don't know what it will be like. Will it be cold? Will it be warm? Will I get hurt? My fish bowl was safe and comfortable. The open water has uncertainties. Question is, are you and I willing to look beyond your fish bowl and dive into the open water?

Cheers, Matthew A. Hawkins

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