Perspective is something that is unique to each and every one of us. We each see things through our own set of lenses and filters. These come from our own belief systems – whether swayed by those we have inherited or those we have cultivated. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking perspectives.
A few years ago I saw a production of Copenhagen by Michael Frayn at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester. It was a play I’d heard good things about but had never seen so took the opportunity to. I’ve written about the play here before – the sign of a good play I guess as it brought many things up for me. In essence the play is about how one conversation was interpreted 3 different ways. Each person who was part of it had a different take on what was said. They were all listening to exactly the same words being spoken – but they each heard something different.
It takes me back to when I was at college studying English Literature as one of my a-levels. I can remember writing an essay that was my perspective on one of the books we’d been asked to read (I forget which one now). I can remember getting my essay back and being told I was wrong. That really got my back up – I couldn’t understand how my perspective on the themes of a novel, or the perspective of anyone else for that matter, could be wrong. You may have a differing view – but neither are wrong are they?
I am quite conscious that my perspective of things is unique to me. It’s something that has tripped me up in the past and I try to make a concerted effort to not let that happen. But then I find I am stuck in a never ending cycle, repeating the same things over and over again – not to get the other person to agree with me but to try and get them to acknowledge how something came across to me. Over the past 9 months it feels like I’ve been in a never ending cycle of this with one person – both of us wanting the other to see things from their perspective but neither of us quite able to. It’s caused a rift (or maybe that’s just my perspective) and my fears come up around whether that rift can be healed. Over the past week, based on some things that have happened (which I won’t go into here) and taking a time out – I have been offered a fresh perspective on things. My only hope right now is that it hasn’t come too late.
I have this innate desire to always be right – whether it’s because I’m female or the youngest of four (and the certain degree of competitiveness that comes with that) or something else I don’t know. But I know in this case it’s not a case of either side being right or being wrong – but instead of hearing and honouring the truths that we both hold. Each is our perspective and each should be honoured and respected as we honour and respect one another.
Invitation: If you feel you’re at a roadblock with something – try taking some time out from it. Perhaps you’ll get a fresh perspective on it too?
If you feel moved to take this invitation, I invite you to share what you are noticing below.