I recently spent a week visiting my parents at their beautiful waterfront home on the Potomac River in Southern Maryland. The weather was horrid almost the entire week but finally after five straight days of rain, the skies cleared and I was able to enjoy a nice paddle around the back yard creek on my stand up paddle board (SUP). I was enjoying the beautiful scenery and the peacefulness of the water. I spotted several heron, osprey and even a family of ducks with four tiny ducklings scurrying behind their mother. All around me were the sounds of the birds, the cicadas and the water lapping along the shore. Occasionally I would hear the whirr of a lawn mower and the purr of a boat engine from the marina across the way. I was basking in the sounds of nature and river life when my peace was suddenly interrupted by the roar of jet engines. Did I mention that my parent’s house is just a short distance from the Patuxent Naval Air Station? At first I thought to myself boy, those jets are loud and they sure are disturbing the calm and serenity of this paddling voyage of mine. But then I remembered what I had heard folks say about the sound of the jet engines in this neck of the woods: “that’s the sound of freedom”. Yes, the sound of freedom, the sound of those amazing machines that soar through the air being piloted by brave men and women who protect and serve so that I can live this life where my problems are truly first world problems. A world where I can enjoy unbounded freedom of movement and usually the only thing standing in my way is me. Thank God for those brave souls that preserve our freedom. It occurred to me to wonder, how many times have I been annoyed about something because I was trapped in my own personal bubble, thinking only of myself and if I only I had taken a step back and chosen to see it from a different perspective I might grow to actually appreciate that thing that annoys me so? Or at least understand it a little better? Maybe we would all enjoy a different level of peace in the world if we could see things from a different perspective. With so much division in the world wouldn’t that be nice? Deep down I think we all want the same things: to be loved and cared for, to see our loved ones thrive and succeed, to feel safe and secure in our communities and enjoy “the sound of freedom” with all the benefits that flow from that treasured gift. Next time you feel annoyed, find a new perspective!