Perspective

illusionHave you ever had a conversation with someone that left you dazed and confused? I’m talking about someone you’ve known for a long time. You get to talking about the past and about 5 minutes in you realize that they do not remember things the way you do.

Or – this is my favorite – they are going through something, again, and can’t see what they need to do to fix it? Or someone they’re close to – not you – is having a problem and they want to help but don’t know how, but they have the same problem and can’t see it?

You gently try to point them in the right direction according to you but to no avail. The longer the conversation goes on you realize that it’s pointless to tell them bluntly what’s going on because they wouldn’t get it even if you did. Then maybe you start to wonder. What if I’m the one who’s got it wrong here? What if my perceptions of the situation is a little screwy? What if I’m the one who needs to take a step back and adjust my thinking?

I do that on occasion because I know it’s possible to just go blindly through life without realizing what affect my actions have on others. I used to be the proverbial bull in the china shop – saying and doing things that bowled people over with little thought to the consequences. Now I’ve found that as I get older I need to be more careful. I need to choose my words carefully if I say anything at all.

It helps forestall any arguments or hard feelings, but I’m still left wondering.

Is there another perspective that is more correct than mine? Is mine wrong just because it’s different? Would I be better off to take someone else’s perspective into consideration?

I wish there was an easy answer or an answer at all. I think just being aware that everyone has a different viewpoint has served me well, because it’s helped me not to judge others as much. It’s also helped me understand that just because something’s different doesn’t make it better or worse, right or wrong. Until I live someone else’s life I can’t say much about their thoughts, feelings, or actions as long as they aren’t hurting anyone.

Perspective is a powerful thing.

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