You can’t see the forest for the trees.
I must admit when I first heard this saying long ago I did not understand it. I’m sure my thinking was along the lines of, ‘If I can see the trees I can see the forest… duh!’ But now I understand what this really means. If one is in the midst of the trees, one can only see what is immediately around them. If one is on top of a mountain, then the viewpoint may become hundreds or thousands of square miles of trees. But even this view might be but a tiny portion of a much larger forest of millions of square miles. Only a plane, or most likely a view from space, would reveal the true vastness and diversity of the forest.
Ultimately it is about perspective. All persons view the world around them based on their personal perspective. Our perspective is shaped by many factors;
Where we born and raised, where we live now, religion, education, media, workplace. All these factors and environments shape our perspective and they also can limit our perspective. And in fact what we find is that much of the information we consume is deliberately designed to limit our perspective.
A primary tool of deception is the control or limiting of perspective. By forcing or manipulating a persons perspective into a narrow avenue it is much easier to deceive. Therefore one important step in becoming aware, in tearing down the illusions that surround us, is changing our perspective. And you and I have the power and ability to change our own perspective from a narrow, shallow view to a broad and deep understanding.
What is interesting and very real, is that it is often times more difficult to recognize our own environment because of our perspective. Similar to the person who spots the weaknesses in others but cannot see their own. The same applies to judging our own religions, governments, and other systems and institutions they we live within and interact with. We can look out, but have a hard time looking in. So you must force yourself to take a critical look at yourself and your environments. Rarely is this easy and oftentimes it’s uncomfortable and distressing. But remember the first step in correcting a problem is recognizing it exists.