I am a great fan and admirer of Cirque Du Soleil and over the years have been very fortunate to see a number of their absolutely sensational shows.
At each of these shows, I have joined thousands of other people in the circus tent to reflect in total awe on the amazing and seemingly impossible acrobatic feats in each performance. When this is coupled with the larger than life sense of theatre that engulfs everyone, it leaves you inspired and full of appreciation for what you have just seen.
Just recently I had the opportunity to see the same Cirque Du Soleil show for a second time within a space of about a month. At the first show, my friend and I were seated about thirty rows back from the stage, so you could imagine it was not easy to see all the expressions on the faces of the performers or for us to fully appreciate the passionate effort that they put into their individual performances. However, what we were able to enjoy was the wonderful panorama of the overall performance.
At the second show, we were fortunate to be seated in the second row just a couple of metres from the stage and we could now see close up the performers and their expressions. Equally, having seen the show before, we both looked forward to seeing our favourite segments for the second time.
Driving home after the second show, we talked about which of the two shows we enjoyed the most and also whether it was better to sit close to the stage or further back. We agreed that both shows were equal in terms of their spectacle and enjoyment, but from two totally different perspectives. In seeing the show for the second time, our appreciation of the absolute brilliance of Cirque Du Soleil was significantly enhanced and without doubt will always be remembered.
In the days that followed it occurred to me that there are some parallels between the experience we had at the two Cirque Du Soleil shows and what happens in our every day lives when we deal with the many challenges that face us.
How often do we make a decision about something important to us based on one single viewing of the facts or act just on what are our first impressions of the situation, without taking the time to gain a better feel for things. By way of example, when we read a good book or watch a movie for the first time it is so easy to believe that we now have a full understanding of all that we have just read or seen. Then at some later point, if we read the book or watched the movie for a second time we are almost certain to discover lots of other important things that we missed the first time around.
Whilst we often don’t have the opportunity to consider an important challenge or situation for a second time before we make a decision about the course action we will take, we should always endeavour to make time to stand back and view things from afar in order to gain a perspective of the bigger picture, and then be able to revisit the challenge or situation close up to see the finer detail and further improve our understanding.
In the light of the different perspective that a second viewing can provide to us, we would then be in a better position to make a more balanced and considered decision about the action we should take. I am sure if we all strived to do this, the outcome may very well be as enjoyable and uplifting as my second visit to Cirque Du Soleil.
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, November 2008 - These two photos are an example of a different perspective of the same sculpture, one from afar and one up close.