Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity. ~ Robert Morgan
Everything’s got space between it, the planets, trees, your eyes. Your eyes get too close together, it’s a whole different world. You can lose perspective. ~ Mos Def
I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, – light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful. ~ John Constable
Perspective…. something that can change everything. Perspective can cause us to view a seemingly horrific position in a positive way, or see the awful realities in an otherwise amazing gift. Perspective can alter our point of view in phenomenal ways, for good or bad. Perspective is what allows negative people to remain negative in what should be positive situations (always finding the one thing to complain about) and perspective allows some to find the silver lining in the midst of the darkest clouds in their lives (such as the death of a love one, surviving a horrible accident with many injuries, etc.)
The photos I have included in this piece are examples of the power of perspective. The photo above was taken from the window of an airplane. I love looking at the earth below when I am up traveling in the clouds. What a pleasure to see the snow on the mountains below. I looked out of my airplane window a few times and noticed how pretty the mountains looked. What a treat to see the remaining snow before it melted! Then I sat up in my seat and took a closer look – this is what I saw:
It appears that the lovely snow- capped mountains I had viewed for the past hour was actually dirt on an airplane wing. When I shifted my perspective, I saw that my version of reality was beautiful, but not accurate. The mountains I had created interpreted from my view were actually airplane wings. This, of course, could be very symbolic in its own right, but was quite disappointing at the time.
I have had other instances where a change of perspective has changed my understanding and point of view. What does this look like to you?
This looks like nothing, gray. Some may find it pretty, others may find it ugly. Some may feel it represents a future blank canvas and potential, others may say it represents the darkness lurking behind the next corner. When we take a step back, we see this is a portion, a very small portion, of a larger picture – which looks like this:
A beautiful spring day at a lake. The water, when blown up, doesn’t look like much, but is gorgeous in the context of the environment.
Next time you are perseverating on a situation, positive or negative, you may want to take a moment and ask yourself to shift your point of view (either literally, or metaphorically). In those moments, you may find important new vantage points that are critical for you to understand.
Life is never completely how it seems, but that is not a bad thing.
The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one. ~ Brooks Atkinson
Today, 313 days ’til 40, I will remind myself of the importance of understanding differing and shifting perspectives. When I do so, I open up my life to so much more insight and meaning. I hope you can do the same.