The Black Dot

One day, a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They all waited anxiously at their desks for the exam to begin. The professor handed out the exams with the text facing down, as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers.

To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions – just a black dot in the center of the sheet of paper. The professor, seeing the expression on everyone’s faces, told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.”

The students, confused, got started on the inexplicable task. At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams, and started reading each one of them out loud, in front of all the students. All of them, with no exception, defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet.

After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor started to explain: “I’m not going to grade you on this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black do – and the same happens in our lives. We have a piece of paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots.

Our life is a gift, and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself daily, friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, etc. However, we insist on focusing only on the dark spot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationships with others, or the disappointment with a friend. The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they’re the ones that pollute our mind.

Take your eyes away from the black dots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings and each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love.

Hat tip: Phil of Phils Phun
Image Credit: Mighty Line

  56 comments for “The Black Dot

  1. November 24, 2015 12:48 am at 12:48 am

    Thank you, Sandee for this post. At this age, I am focusing more on the white paper than on the small little dot. By doing so, I find that life is so good. My heart is filled with a joy that no one can take away and having an attitude of gratefulness. Have a beautiful day!

    • November 24, 2015 10:30 am at 10:30 am

      I think as we age most of us thing about the good stuff and let the bad stuff go. 🙂

  2. November 24, 2015 1:27 am at 1:27 am

    I had a math professor who gave a verbal final. "Write down everything you know". Really, it happened. The time for the test was 90 minutes-I was done in five.

    • November 24, 2015 10:34 am at 10:34 am

      Okay, I'll have to think about this some. I've hit a wall. 🙂

  3. November 24, 2015 3:17 am at 3:17 am

    How smart of him to teach the lesson like that… I like it! 🙂

    • November 24, 2015 10:49 am at 10:49 am

      It's a great lesson. 🙂

  4. November 24, 2015 3:36 am at 3:36 am

    Really beautiful thought here. Thanks Sandee. I wonder if it were real if everyone would focus on the dot.

    • November 24, 2015 10:50 am at 10:50 am

      That dot is a bad place to focus on for sure. 🙂

  5. November 24, 2015 3:40 am at 3:40 am

    I am definitely a "the glass is half-full" kinda gal. An eternal optimist. I see the white space.

    And I want to paint it with lovely, soothing colors that make me happy. 😉

    big hugs xoxo

    • November 24, 2015 10:50 am at 10:50 am

      I know you see the white space and I love that about you. 🙂

  6. November 24, 2015 4:34 am at 4:34 am

    There is much to be said for developing an attitude of gratitude.

    • November 24, 2015 10:50 am at 10:50 am

      Yes there is my friend, yes there is. 🙂

  7. November 24, 2015 4:45 am at 4:45 am

    Thank you. This is why i start each morning writing three gratitudes in my notebook, and end each evening with a post to a gratitude list on a forum. It's helping me focus better on the good.

    • November 24, 2015 10:51 am at 10:51 am

      We can't just focus on the bad and expect to feel good. 🙂

  8. November 24, 2015 5:04 am at 5:04 am

    I think the rest of the world must start looking at the white part of the paper to understand what around them. Wonderful post today. Everyday you have a wonderful post. Thanks my beautiful friend.
    Have a gorgeous Tuesday Sandee. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

    • November 24, 2015 10:51 am at 10:51 am

      You're most welcome Paul. It's a good reminder on what is and what isn't important. 🙂

  9. November 24, 2015 5:14 am at 5:14 am

    That was sooo spot on (no pun intended) it does make you think though doesn't it 🙂

    Have a dottastic day Sandee :-h

    • November 24, 2015 10:54 am at 10:54 am

      It sure does Steve, it sure does make you think. 🙂

  10. November 24, 2015 5:38 am at 5:38 am

    That is one terrific post and such a good reminder to concentrate on the good things we have in our lives which is very many in my case. What a good lesson for everyone. I like that a lot. Sandee, you and Zane have a super day. Saw your post on Facebook and it does take a long time to get over our loss of animals and you probably never will. Just remember all the good times. I think for myself, I just plain miss having a dog. They are just such great companions. Take care you two.

    • November 24, 2015 10:55 am at 10:55 am

      We do remember all the good times with Little Bit and then I start crying again. Zane has been dreaming about her. 🙂

  11. November 24, 2015 5:42 am at 5:42 am

    This was a wonderful post with an important lesson, thank you so much for sharing this!

    • November 24, 2015 10:55 am at 10:55 am

      A very important lesson. 🙂

  12. November 24, 2015 5:53 am at 5:53 am

    Perfect timing Sandee- thanks! And have a lovely day.

    • November 24, 2015 10:55 am at 10:55 am

      Right before Thanksgiving. I've been thinking of all the good things of late. 🙂

  13. November 24, 2015 6:46 am at 6:46 am

    That would make a great Sunday sermon…and maybe it was. Either way, it's a great reminder that life is more than just the 'dark spots' in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

    • November 24, 2015 10:56 am at 10:56 am

      It would make a great Sunday sermon. 🙂

  14. November 24, 2015 8:03 am at 8:03 am

    Excellent post. It's a great lesson for us all. I'm definitely showing this one to my hubby. He's stressing about having too much work right now, but being self-employed, he hates to turn down any work when it presents.

    • November 24, 2015 10:56 am at 10:56 am

      Yes, he needs to focus on the white part not the black dots in his life. 🙂

  15. November 24, 2015 9:32 am at 9:32 am

    Very clever! I love this!

    • November 24, 2015 10:57 am at 10:57 am

      Someone was thinking outside the box. 🙂

  16. November 24, 2015 9:43 am at 9:43 am

    I'm still waiting or the punch line, but I get it.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • November 24, 2015 10:57 am at 10:57 am

      I knew you would Joe. Happy Thanksgiving to you too. 🙂

  17. November 24, 2015 10:00 am at 10:00 am

    I haven't heard this story before. Good one!

    For whatever reason, I have always been the "the glass is half-empty" person. It takes work for me to think about the positives. My husband is helpful in this regard. He's generally a happy person.

    • November 24, 2015 10:58 am at 10:58 am

      Yes, but knowing that is the key to making sure you don't dwell on the black dots in life. 🙂

  18. November 24, 2015 10:25 am at 10:25 am

    Wise advice indeed. I remember we had a sermon about judging others at church once using the same illustration. They used the black dot as representing people's faults & the paper as representing the complete person. Most of us focus on the small insignificant dot rather than the good that we can see in other people

    • November 24, 2015 10:58 am at 10:58 am

      Very well said and a great sermon too. 🙂

  19. November 24, 2015 11:53 am at 11:53 am


    I needed to read this!
    I'm tend to be very negative.

    • November 24, 2015 2:46 pm at 2:46 pm

      I hope it helps. I think we all have times that we struggle with. 🙂

  20. November 24, 2015 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm

    Awww that is sweet. Although if I had been in the class I would have wrote a fictional story about my new best friend named Dot, just because that would have been fun. For me at least 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you. I am going to unplug for the next few days and spend time with family!

    • November 24, 2015 2:46 pm at 2:46 pm

      Enjoy spending time with your family. It's a good thing. Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

  21. Ann
    November 24, 2015 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm

    An excellent lesson and I even saw myself in there considering I've been focusing more on the people at work who make my life unpleasant instead of on the ones who make things seem not so bad.

    • November 24, 2015 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm

      Sometimes the bad folks suck the air out of the room. It's hard not to notice. 🙂

  22. November 24, 2015 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm

    I love this.When you focus on the dark spots, they seem to multiply. Focus on the good things, with gratitude and more blessings will follow. 🙂

    • November 25, 2015 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm

      Spot on Kristi. They aren't worth focusing on either. 🙂

  23. November 24, 2015 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm

    This is so true ! I love this post. Thanks Sandee for this post, and all of the uplifting joyful posts on Comedy Plus.

    Have a super duper great day!

    Huge blessings and "Big Hugs" to you-


    • November 25, 2015 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm

      One of my blogging buddies posted this and I loved it so. It's a wonderful reminder of what's important and what's not.

      Big hugs back Annie. 🙂

  24. November 24, 2015 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm

    Brilliant post. I would never want to dwell on a black spot. Ever. I see the white, and all its possibilities.

    Big hugs, honey…

    • November 25, 2015 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm

      And you don't either. You're one of the most positive and grateful people I know. 🙂

  25. November 24, 2015 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm

    Good parable. Wise words.

    • November 25, 2015 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm

      Very wise words Jean(ie). 🙂

  26. November 25, 2015 2:37 am at 2:37 am

    What a great lesson. Sometimes I do that, focus on the not so good things and forget all about the things I should be thankful for. Very timely reminder.

    • November 25, 2015 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm

      We'll live longer if we focus on the good stuff and ignore the bad stuff. 🙂

  27. November 25, 2015 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm

    That was a very good lesson to be learned.

    • November 25, 2015 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm

      It is indeed Binky. 🙂

  28. November 30, 2015 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm

    so glad everybody liked this .. if it made you think about all the good things in your life..then it worked for you … Happy festive season all

    • November 30, 2015 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm

      It's a good reminder Phil. Thanks for posting it. I can also look at the dot and that's not good. 🙂

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