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What Can We Learn From the Cincinnati Zoo?

Like many other animal lovers, I was deeply saddened by the news from Cincinnati where an endangered, 400 lb. gorilla named Harambe was shot and killed after a young child fell into the animal's enclosure at the zoo.

While much has already been written about the issues of responsible parenting and animal rights, it seems that there is actually a personal development lesson in this tragedy that has yet to be discussed.

Isn't it amazing that dozens of eyewitnesses watched the same event unfold in person, yet there seems to be wildly different interpretations of what actually happened?

Some people reported that the gorilla acted "violently," dragging the child in an aggressive manner. Yet, others who saw the exact same thing claim the gorilla was protecting the child and was merely scared by the screaming onlookers surrounding the enclosure. One report even went as far to claim that the boy and gorilla briefly held hands.

While there is no way to ever know Harambe's true intentions that afternoon, we do know that the filter through which we choose to view the event, and any other significant moments in our lives, will determine the meaning that we give it. Likewise, it is the meaning that we assign to our life events that shape our destiny.

People at the zoo who chose to see this event from a perspective of fear and danger undoubtedly believed that the gorilla was a threat and that lethal measures had to be taken.

Meanwhile, people who saw the world through a filter of love and protection had a much different experience. They've expressed outrage, claiming that the death of a majestic animal was unnecessary.

In the spiritual world, we have come to understand that reality is simply whatever we believe it to be. With that knowledge, it could be said that arguments on both sides of the zoo issue are correct, at least to those who were there to witness it.

Sadly, we can't go back and undo what was done. But we can use the events of last weekend to examine the filters through which we view our day-to-day life and see if we could make new decisions.

A person who views the world from a place of scarcity and lack will worry at the end of each month about having to pay the bills. "Will I be able to save enough to retire? What if I never make more money? If I don't get that promotion, I'm never going to move forward." This person is likely to live in a constant state of stress and be so focused on looking for what is missing in their life that they will never find a sense of peace.

On the other hand, a person who sees the world as abundant and full of possibilities will feel more joy, knowing the fact that they even have bills means they have a roof over their head and a car to get around. They actually see paying bills as a blessing, as it means their needs are met as they lay the groundwork to build a better life.

What would happen differently if we changed the filters through which we viewed world events? Would we see Syrian refugees as people simply trying to find safety and provide a better life for their family? Or would we view them as terrorists who are here to cause harm to our own families?

If we filtered the world through a more loving filter, what would be the impact on the divorce rate in the US? How would it change the North Carolina bathroom laws and treatment of the LGBT community? How would we treat the homeless population differently? Would we be more open to spontaneous, loving interactions with people without thinking that they just want something from us?

By mindfully changing our perceptions, we can create massive transformation in our lives. We will begin to act from a place of love. Acting from a place of love is what will transform the world.

Dan Mason is a personal success coach who has helped clients in 5 countries on their path to transformation. He is offering a FREE, 25-Minute, Breakthrough Coaching Session to the first 5 HuffPost readers to email him at dan@creativesoulcoaching.net
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