Please, Please Perspective

As defined, perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. Often in my presentations, I conduct an activity regarding this notion. Basically, are you "zoomed" in on particular situations in your life or are you allowing for the "wide angle" lense of the situation?


Below is a very simplistic example of how these lenses work. Trust me there are far greater dilemmas than the example provided, but this is simply for context. Let's pretend my class and I have been practicing thesis statement writing for a month. However, when assessed on this content, they bomb it in epic fashion. Zoomed in, I'm beyond annoyed at this outcome. However, by backing away and looking at the wide angle view, I realize there's a great deal going on in our lives that could certainly impact their performance. The takeaway . . . to chill out and realize things are going to be okay. Reteach in a new manner if necessary, come back to the concept at a later date, or simply drop the assessment grade, pivot, and move on to further educational adventures.




As noted in Chapter 25 of my book, "One invaluable life skill we can hope to attain is the ability to change our viewpoint (or perspective). Even if you or I were the center of the universe (I am not; my wife can concur), it is impossible to have the same perspective (as another) on every occurrence going on in such a vast space."


The key here is that we (you and I) are a very, very small portion of this incredible universe. And in this immense universe, in our little corner of the world, we often become stuck in our beliefs and in our manner of dealing with things. For example, David Shainberg (associate dean of Psychiatry at the William Alanson White Institute, New York) asserts that thoughts are often like a vortice (mass of whirling fluid, especially a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center). He asserts that vortices can be very stable. Shainberg points to the Great Red Spot of Jupiter. This gaseous vortex (25,000 miles in width) has remained stable since first discovered over 300 years ago. The analogy being that Shainberg believes our vortices of thought become quite solidified within our consciousness (Talbot, The Holographic Universe).


At times these stable and/or solidified vortices keep us from seeing the true big picture. This big picture requires a willingness to alter one's perspective. The issue is that many of these developed vortices have (and continue) to create barriers between ourselves as a human species. By doing so, as a race, we are often missing out on the positive relations and accomplishments we could otherwise be achieving. If you want to see what I mean, let's look to David Shainberg: "Children have not yet had the time to form vortices, and this is reflected in the open and flexible way they interact with the world" (Talbot, The Holographic Universe).


I strive for this "wide angle" lense, or big picture if you will in my classroom and in my life. While not always successful, I strive to become better at this notion each and every day. To think like a child and fight the vortices that have become embedded in my consciousness. As a child, we all sat at the same lunch table; we all were invited to birthday parties; we all just wanted to be together. Maybe, just maybe . . . we are at our most intelligent in our younger years. Give that one some thought?

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