We’ve all likely heard this word many times in the course of our lives, and we’ll continue to hear this word since it means so many different things depending on your own perspective. Sort of confusing so we begin with the definition:
1a: a mental view or prospect (to gain a broader perspective on the international scene)
1b: a visible scene; especially: one giving a distinctive impression of distance
2a: the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed placing the issues in proper perspective
2b: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance, ie. trying to maintain my perspective
3. the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions
4a: the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relations 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
4b: a picture in perspective
We are urged often to try to see this or that from the other person’s perspective, and we are sometimes able to do that while at other times it is an impossibility. Politics is particularly subjected to the word “perspective” as are the conversations we share with others on various things ‘political’.
We grow up with a fairly well-determined understanding of what’s what…and then we leave home and begin to experience things from all sorts of differing perspectives. We have differing experiences from others with whom we might’ve been ‘joined at the hip’ and come together later in life only to wonder how he got to that place in his thinking, or how she could’ve possibly seen anything in him to make her want to spend her life with him?
It seems that most everything is impacted by ‘perspective’. And perspective is impacted by experiences. Since we each are “products of our own experiences”, are we silly to believe we can share the same or similar perspectives with another person whom we may not even know? Or with a person we used to think we knew except he or she has changed somehow along this trip of living life?
We know there are optical illusions that seem very real. Can there also be mental illusions that seem very real? Is that what we mean by the term delusional? Is there a possibility that only we are sane in this whole crazy-quilt world? Or, are we all victims (at one time or another) of this thing known as perspective?
We are each unique beings. We have had differing experiences which have contributed to the person we are today. We are likely to continue to have different experiences so we are apparently likely to continue to become even more unique.
Our perspectives will apparently continue to evolve, so our positions on various things will evolve or devolve depending upon who is viewing us and what we have become…and will become next week or next month or next year.
Against this backdrop, it becomes quite easy to see how we change sometimes, or even often, without recognizing that we have changed an opinion or a belief or a position we’ve held for some time. Maybe, since we all seem to be capable of changing based on perspective, there is not a constant Al Campbell or Shirley Jones or Dean McNamara.
If you think about this from the perspective of a childhood friend from whom you’ve been separated for decades, and how you marvel at who or what that person has become since you originally knew him or her, we can begin to accommodate changes in self as well as in others. Change is simply reality.
It is all a matter of perspective and our understanding of that perspective.