It is old technology now, but I recall the first time I saw a video filmed in high definition and played back on an HD screen. The depth of color and images blew me away.

What would our lives be like if we looked at them through a lens of learning, appreciation and of amazement? We would all agree that we can learn from our life experience. And everyone does. Yet some people are learning and gleaning more than others from their experiences and those of others. It is as if they are seeing life in HD with a filter that is set on teachable.

Consider learning more from others. If you have ever watched a movie with someone and then talked about it afterward, you quickly recognize there were things you might have missed or impacted you differently than the other person. The same is true of experiences that we share -- same experiences but different observations.

It is up to us to decide the lens we choose as we observe life and experiences. Those observations can be the source of new knowledge, understanding and learning. It means that whatever we experience, read, listen to and watch can be an opportunity for learning.

If you take a position that your lens is just fine and your filter is set right, you will miss out on new lessons to learn. But if you decide and determine you are committed to seeing, learning, questioning, replaying and discussing life in real time, you will gain much. The more I teach, the more I want to learn. The more I learn, the greater desire I have to learn from multiple sources.

Make sure you have the right lens and filter. Decide what you want to be learning about and think about your life experiences, looking for clues or ideas that apply to what you are learning. Also make sure you take time to reflect on your experiences. We can easily rush through life and move onto the next thing without taking time to assess, debrief, reflect and even write down our life lessons.

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While one person watches or reads the news to discover flaws in others or to jump on the negativity bandwagon, others are reading and watching news in order to be informed but more than that, they are watching and reading in order of learning new stories to share, life lessons to glean and what to avoid and how best to live. Same experiences, vastly different results all based on the lens and filter that we have chosen.

After you have made new observations and reflected on them, you must apply what you have learned. New lessons and observations mean little if we do not put into practice what we learn.

So, how are you doing in the learning department? How is your lens and filter and are you growing in the area of implementing your life lessons?

There is so much to learn and so many ways we can raise the level of what we glean from life all around us. Don’t miss out.

Bernie Federmann is senior pastor at Lompoc Foursquare Church and chaplain with Lompoc police and fire departments. He can be reached through