Have you seen the picture that changes depending on how you look at it? As you glimpse at the picture, an elderly woman is clear to make out. As you turn the picture around, you slowly start to see a younger woman. If you don’t see the different image, are you quick to say that the person telling you this isn’t right? I will tell you that as a child, I did enough of the Magic Eye posters to start screaming that this is rigged! The problem at the time, was that I didn’t want to change my perspective. How clearly do both perspectives come into view for you in your life?
Perspective is one of the hardest things for us to change in life and one the most telling signs of maturity in a human being. It’s difficult to gain the knowledge that our mind is not the only mind that is correct in a situation. As children, we have to learn different perspectives. Think about object permanence and our ability to know that even if we don’t see the ball after it goes under the box, the ball is still there. Or maybe learning the emotions of another child on the playground as we take their toy away from them. Maybe you are happy now that you have a toy, but is the boy you took it from happy? How quickly can we learn from these scenarios? Or maybe the better question at times can be, why are there still elderly people in this world with so much wisdom, but have difficulty understanding perspective. When did they ultimately decide that their way was the right way, regardless of the repercussions to another?
Ice cream…that gooey amazing mixture of ice and cream that so many people indulge in. It can be so amazing to taste for many of us, but what happens when we change our perspective? What happens when we look at it from another angle. Not as a sweet indulgence, but as a cause of distress. Ice cream can also be a cause of disgust for people. What is this you say? Now you’re talking crazy! Well, what if you’re lactose intolerant and ice cream causes your body harm? You can’t digest the sugars within this wonderful treat and quickly it can become lethal. Most of us can understand this as we learn about different forms of health conditions as we grow up. Still (even for a brief moment) you might have a baffled look on your face when you learn someone next to you has it.
Ever thought of working three jobs to make the income needed to survive? Not many of us have, but would you believe that 5% of the United States has been shown to have multiple jobs? On one side of the spectrum, we instantly try to wrap our brains around this when we hear it. Why do these people have multiple jobs? What situation could they be in? Why can’t they just get a better paying job? There are many situations that these people could ultimately be in. They might have decided when they were younger, that education wasn’t important and now later in life, they have found it tough to get a higher wage without the education in their background. Maybe they have several kids and they are trying to make a better life for them, even if it’s at the expense of their well being. One of the most important things in life is to continue our legacy on as human beings with our offspring right?
Our television programs are based on our perspectives. We watch things that are similar to what we love in life. Seinfeld was a great sitcom that is based on real life circumstances that happen with a lot of people. Things happen on the program that make us laugh, because they hit close to home. It’s only funny, because our perspective on life is similar to theirs.
Something that is interesting (that I came to terms with on the final episode of Seinfeld) was the realization of a different perceptive. As you watch the show and the different episodes, they always have something that happens with the people around them and it causes a situation to rise. Maybe it’s a woman Jerry is dating and she has big hands or Elaine with her friends and their unattractive baby. The final episode brings all of these people together. This places a twist on the perspective we had for the entire show. The situations where our hero friends are constantly adapting to their antagonists has reversed. They are now the source of harm to the world around them. Can you imagine if the show had a spin off based on the people in their world that they affected? What a change if perspective?!
Our society consistently is made of this. Our social groups are built around people that have similar situations. We share stories with each other on what has happened during our life and how we have dealt with it. This is great and we need this, but it doesn’t get us outside our comfort zone and think differently about a situation or people involved. It’s just another instance of what we learn when we are young.
I’m assuming everyone knows the different stereotypical groups that people have in high school. Jocks, band nerds, video-gamers, skateboarders and smart kids are just a few that most people would name. We struggle when we are young on identifying who we are, let alone looking at different perspectives of other people. The solution, stay around people that are inside your comfort zone and don’t stray too far away because you’ll get hurt. Often times this is mentally, but in high school this can also be physically. If you look back even further to 1st or 2nd grade, you might remember that these social groups aren’t around. There wasn’t the clear definition of who we were more similar to, because honestly you were probably similar to most people in your classes…except maybe the people with cooties for the day!
As you travel and learn about different cultures in life, you change your perspective. Think if everyone in this world was given the opportunity to learn about each other’s culture, free from persecution? To understand how other cultures and people think and feel. Open your perspective to why they act the way they do. What a world we would live in. Our comfort zone would not just be the comfort zone we grew up with, because we would be comfortable with all walks of life.
The scenario with racism has come to the forefront of our lives recently. Perspective is key as we move on from our situations of social injustice. The difference in if you see this as valid, really depends on which eyes you use to see the situation. Many of us including myself, have not dealt with these situations. What makes me alter my thought process, is that sadly I have many friends that have dealt with them. When you hear the hurt when they speak about their past, you become empathetic and disgusted that this happens. What happens if you don’t know anyone that has gone through this? Can you still believe that there would be bad people in the world that treat others differently based on their skin? It can be a hard concept to grasp, if you don’t open your mind and gain perspective into the world of another.
Maturity in life is based on how you can change your perspective and take time to learn about the world around you. There are people that are so stuck in their ways, that they never take the time to understand how someone else sees the world. They don’t want to. They want to live their life thinking how they know and see the world based on their life experiences. Half the fun of life is learning and opening your mind to what other people feel and see in life. When you look at life, make sure that you turn the picture upside down and see it from a different angle. That mind blowing ah ha moment you have, when you finally see something from another angle, is far too exciting to pass up as you journey through life.