How’s the View From Where You Are Standing?
Perspective is such a fascinating thing. It’s what defines who we are, what we believe, what we fight for, and ultimately what pushes our buttons–and even how we serve and make a difference.
Ironically though, it doesn’t take much for our perspective on life to be influenced, by our friends, the media, our industry, our neighborhood. There’s a plethora of ways in which we can be influenced or inspired.
Most of the time we don’t check our facts or even question the influence itself. If we believe and trust the person who told us, we buy into their perspective. Therefore, over time, our perspective can be skewed by the people who we associate with the most. Soon, you’ll find yourself believing like your best friends. You’ll vote the same way, buy into what you are told, and could even make over-generalizations and assumptions about the problems your friends are most passionate about.
After many political debates with my sister last year during election year, she encouraged and inspired me to double check my facts before becoming a messenger for a cause in which I’d only gathered information through second-hand sources. Even though her and I disagree about many political issues, we agree that doing our homework is essential.
It taught me to really assess whether I’m looking at something from all angles and points-of-view. That’s why I love when people point out things to me of what I haven’t yet thought about.
We all come to life with our own perspectives based upon our own past experiences and what we value most in life. My thought for you today is to ask you to look at life through a different set of lenses, from a different perspective, angle or another person’s point-of-view. And most importantly, don’t allow other people to convince you of the way something is or to start using over-generalizations in assessing the world, such as:
- “Everyone on welfare is taking advantage of the system.”
- “All homeless people are lazy and choose not to work.”
- “(Insert Nationality) are violent and aggressive.”
If you feel this way about any group of people or cause, I HIGHLY encourage you to get to know some of the people within this population so you can find out for yourself that using ALL or EVERYONE is not true. Of course, there are some. There will always be some who do what you believe, but don’t buy into all-or-nothing thinking.
Shift your perspective and shift your life.
When you find that you perspective changes, you’ll find that you have much more compassion, empathy and connection with people who you had once assumed were totally different and opposite of who you are.