The Black Dot

One day a professor entered the classroom and announced a surprise test. The students got nervous. The professor distributed a sheet of paper to each one, then told them to turn the page over and start the test.

To everyone's surprise, there were no questions on the test paper, just a black dot in the center of the page. Startled, the students looked at the professor in confusion. The professor told the students: “I want you to write a few lines about what you see on the paper."

The students were puzzled but started writing. Once everyone was finished, the professor collected all the papers and started reading each answer aloud in front of the whole class. Without an exception, all the students had written about the black dot, describing its position, size, etc. 

After reading all the answers, the professor addressed the students, “Don’t worry, none of you will be graded on this test. I just want you all to think about something. All of you wrote about the black dot, but none of you wrote about the white paper. This is what happens in our lives. We’re surrounded by things to celebrate and learn from—our parents, friends, family, good health, and so forth—but we limit ourselves by focusing only on the dark spots: our disappointments, frustrations, fears, and anxieties. We take the rest for granted. Take your eyes away from the dark spots in your life. Focus on the bright parts all around you and let positivity guide your thoughts.”


Karen on May 17, 2022 2:14 PM posted:
I really enjoy your newsletters. Especially these wonderful stories that are gentle reminders about perspective/life and I feel better after reading them. Thank you!

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