Perspective   1 comment

As the father of a 5 year old, it is funny what you will think of when you set out to consider one concept or another. I set out and began preparing and thinking about perspective, a line from one of my son’s favorite movies came to mind. It is from “Ratatouille” The famous food critic is speaking to the waiter whom has just asked what he would like he replies,

 Yes, I think I do.  After reading a lot of overheated  puffery about your new cook, you know what I’m  craving? A little perspective. That’s it. I’d like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective.

 

Can we all agree that fresh clear perspective is not an simply something that helps us along our journey, but it is a necessity. However, unfortunately for most of us, our perspective has been clouded, scratched, soiled and distorted.

 The simple concept of perspective has literally innumerable facets that could be explored. I will only look at a couple. 

First, another word for Perspective is “point of view”. Let me say it this way, perspective is the lenses through which we see the world. That being said, no two people will ever see the world exactly the same way.  We may share some similarities regarding certain situations and issue, but we will never agree on absolutely EVERYTHING. Why is that? Where/How do we develop our perspective? I dare say, we begin developing our perspective from the moment we enter the world and take that very first breath and open our eyes to see the world around us. Our perspective very similarly to our values is developed based on our life experiences.  Some of us, may have been lucky/blessed enough to have had mostly “positive” experiences, but if you are reading this, you very likely were not one of those. Whether our experiences were positive or negative, they still had an effect on our perspective.  Let me try to explain with a few examples: 

  •  A young man is brought up in a home with an alcoholic father whom is abusive towards him and his mother. His mother is unprotective and provides no boundaries or guidance as he grows older. He will develop a perspective that the world is out to get you and if you want something, you do what ever it takes to get it. He is angry, bitter and very defensive in his interactions with others. He has no trust of others and will sabotage a relationship if it is getting uncomfortably close.

 

  • A young lady is born into a wealthy family and never has lacked for any need or want. She always has the best and prettiest clothes, all the latest gadgets, and of course the coolest car on the market as her Sweet Sixteen present. Because she gets bored, she gets in to trouble for partying with friends and her parents bail her out and “make the charges go away”. She will develop a perspective of entitlement. She will see everyone else in the world as somehow “beneath” her. You can see it in the way she walks, and talks. She will have a “clique” of friends that see the world the same way. She will be rude, demanding and often obnoxious if her exact desires are met for what ever reason.

 

  • And finally, a young lady whose father leaves her mother before she evens has the opportunity to know him as her father. In order to make ends meet while she is growing up, her mother works 2 jobs, equally 60-70 hours per week, and the girl is often left at home alone and expected to care for herself. She feels rejected, abandoned and unloved. She seeks affection and attention that she longs for in the arms of an older boy at school. Despite her repeated cries, “STOP”, “NO”, he takes advantage of her. What about her perspective? She will learn to see that world as cold, uncaring, she will see herself as rejected, unlovable and shameful.

 I know each of these examples deals with some extremes, but I have tried to be real to where many of us find or have found ourselves. Our experiences shape our perspectives, our perceptions of ourselves and our world and in doing so they influence how we react to it.  

 However, here is the GOOD NEWS… because perspective is a matter of patterns of thinking of behaving that have previously been learned, we have the ability to learn new, and more effective means of seeing ourselves and our situations. It is not going to be an easy process, but we can, if we will CHOOSE to do so, change our perspective and respond to it in a positive and recovery enhancing manner.

 Yes, you read that correctly, you have a CHOICE on how you perceive yourself and your situation. Most of us have grown to simply assume that “nothing” is going to work out. We tell ourselves, since it’s not going to work anyway, I am not going to even try. IN doing son we guarantee failure and prove our own point reinforcing our pessimistic expectations.  However, despite how difficult a situation might seem, if I approach it with optimism, believing that despite my failures and disappointments in the past, maybe this time I will be able to do it! When I cling to that glimmer of hope and put forth greater effort and ultimately I am more likely to succeed.  On the other hand, I may not achieve my goal, but does that mean that I have “failed?” By all means, “No!” An individual only truly fails when he/she fails to try. For in every instance that we try, but are unsuccessful, we learn new skills and develop more confidence in our own abilities. We realize the sweetness and joy that is with in even the slightest taste of success, and it is just enough to cause us to crave it even more!

 So wherever you are as you read this, consider your perspective and choices and behavior. Do you see your world as a place hurt, rejection and disappointment, or as full of opportunities for growth and improvement? I implore you choose HOPE, choose SUCCESS, choose LIFE!!

 Please see the Note from the Road regarding perspective, for a story that illustrates this point well.

 Until next time…. Happy Travels!

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One response to “Perspective

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  1. Well…I guess if Albert Einstein believed in miricles, I guess I can give them a second look too.

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