What world do you see? How about me?
: a mental view or prospect
to gain a broader perspective on the international scene—
: the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed
places the issues in proper perspective
also : point of view
: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance
trying to maintain my perspective
: the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions
: the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye
specifically : representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance
Have you ever wondered what the birds see? Have you ever wondered how the world looks to ants?
I’ve been pondering these things myself, which is why I chose the word perspective as this month’s theme.
With spring comes a whole new burst of life, and I for one have been enjoying it immensely. Watching the beautiful creatures of this Earth interact have been some of the best parts of my days.
Spring always feels like a breath of fresh air to me. Maybe it’s the seasonal depression talking, but once it arrives, it seems hope is palpable. The blossoms on the trees, the buzzing of the bees, the smell of lilacs… I could go on and on.
Recently, I've been practicing something that was mentioned in a book I’m reading. The book urged me as a reader to practice viewing the scenes of the upcoming chapter as if I’m watching from above a stage. I found this odd. It was a new notion to me, but as I came to read that chapter, I could understand the author’s request. It gave me a better understanding of the motives of each character, and allowed me the freedom of not having to view the story through only one lens.
Since that day, I’ve been practicing this in my everyday life. When there are situations that feel charged, like an argument or disagreement, I find myself picturing the scene from above. It actually does help me zoom out and realize that life is so much bigger than all this.
This is just a moment in time.
It will change. It too is just another aspect of life.
What may be even more interesting to me, is that even the same situation can be experienced through multiple perspectives.
Recently, I was sitting on a bus where an older woman was speaking to somebody on speaker-phone. I didn’t pay it much attention, it definitely didn’t bother me. In fact, I felt that it was sweet. Older people and their ignorance towards technology is an amusing sight.
However, when she finished her phone call, several people accosted her. They pointed out that the whole bus had to listen to the call, and how rude it was to put us all through that.
I found that interesting, after all, my experience was so different from theirs. My reaction was one of humor, not annoyance.
Why is it that some people perceive the exact same situation one way and others a different way?
While I don’t claim to know the truth, I have a couple guesses.
Picture life like a horse wearing blinders. He has no choice what he sees, he just sees. All of the experiences in his life, all of the different circumstances are what give him his view.
My reaction is different to others in the same situation, because of where my specific gaze has been pointed throughout my life.
These people might have grown up hearing an abusive parent talk on speaker phone often. They may have been having a bad day. Or it could be something much deeper that I have no way of knowing.
The only thing I know for sure, is that though my experience was different, I can’t judge them for their reaction. I have no idea what moments in their life led up to them sitting on that same bus as me.
We can only live based on our own perceptions: the sum of our past experiences. .
The beautiful thing about it is the difference. It’s the realization of “wow, other people feel differently about this situation, maybe I can too.”
This recognition allows us to expand upon our own blinder-led-life, and take on other people’s perspectives. Just because a situation made me feel a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s the only way to feel. There is so much freedom in allowing other’s experience to open yours.
I now understand that perspective is something that comes from within us, and therefore we have the power to change it. What a sense of freedom that gives!
So this month, I hope you take the time to expand your perspectives. Consider life from the ground, consider it from the sky. Consider all the different angles you cannot see, and watch as it allows you to expand your own perception of reality.
.noʎ ǝʌol I