Step Back

Episode #761

September 2, 2023

I find myself focused on the minutiae.


What are the individual steps of a project?
What did she mean with that comment?
Who is representing my political party in this election?

Sometimes it is best that I step back and look at the bigger picture.
Then I ask big picture questions.

What is the point and purpose of this project?
What will the project look like when it is complete?
There will be time to list the steps of the project once it is well conceived.

She only made that comment in response to a specific action.
What was the gist of the conversation?
What was its context?

What are the policy issues of this election?
Who is running on his success and not my best interests?
Which person’s political party can forward a politician’s promises?

When I was driving on a recent road trip I had an obligation to focus on the scrupulous details of the traffic around me. I had the safety of my wife, myself and the other guy in mind.

Once I cleared my surroundings I gave myself the pleasure of taking in the whole scene. There was often a rambling terrain through which the roadway pierced infinitely to a horizon. But the scene did not end on the horizon. Above the line of the earth stretched a pure blue sky, dotted with brush strokes of white cumulus clouds lighted brightly with a hard, brilliant sun.

Scanning my windows and checking my three mirrors was essential for my safety.
Seeing the big picture scene benefited my well being and happiness.
“Stop and smell the roses.”

Sometimes I am sad. Circumstances surrounding me are negative.
In those moments I expand my memory to include my entire life.
The bigger the memory the deeper the depth of my happiness.
When I find myself in the dark bottom of a depression pit, memory is a rope I can use to pull myself up into the light of my life.

Pointillists understand the big picture.
They use dots or shapes of color which combine into an image.
By themselves, the dots are singular comments with no context.

Together, the dots cooperate into a message which is the painting.


At the art museum Paula was observing an intricate tapestry whose pattern was beautiful in and of itself.

When she stepped back, the pattern expanded into a lovely dress.

Our eyes and brain are designed for the big picture.
If we look closely, I mean really close, at the screen of a television we see a matrix of flashing colored dots. As we step back and take in the entire screen we see what is playing.
In the wild, our survival depended on the big picture.

The forest is perceived as movement in the brush, small rustles and noises, direction of wind and light, odors familiar and strange. All of this input is processed by our brain. It imagines a predator in the brush, a clearing ahead, or a rotting animal near a lion’s den.
“He was ambushed,” said the detective. “He did not see the forest for the trees.”

As I navigate this life I continue to examine the rich detail of my world.
I also observe the world in its entirety. It makes me smile. 🙂


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

Follow Ricki T Thues on Amazon HERE.

“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.




  1. Victor Spindler September 1, 2023
  2. Danielle L BARLOW September 1, 2023

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