Any dictionary would give two basic definitions for the noun, perspective:
1. The representation in a drawing of parallel lines converging to give the illusion of depth and distance.
2. The human capacity to view things in such a way as to see relationships and relative importance.
Those definitions are accurate but do little to explore the importance of perspective in day-to-day living. They do share the idea of illusion, suggesting that what we see can change depending on lots of things: our line of sight, expectations and assumptions, past experiences, other people’s views and input, ongoing events, and hundreds of other little things.
Perspective encourages us to look beyond ourselves, see things from other points of view and recognize the varying importance or significance of something. Perspective says to throw assumptions and common expectations out the window, to look for something new and different. Perspective helps add meaning, depth, understanding to many activities and relationships of life. Being able to acknowledge varying perspectives can help add meaning to life.
As a lesson on life, perspective reminds us to keep our minds open and to look for alternatives. With enough perspective, we can better appreciate life and control how we feel and react to people and events. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Any defeat is the chance to start over. Do you see the rain or the rainbow? Curse the thorns or smell the rose? Perspective gives us the ability to make choices while withholding judgment.
This little video offers a great reminder that nothing is ever really what it seems.
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SOME QUOTES ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSPECTIVE
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” Anonymous
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” Friedrich Nietzsche
“Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not, and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs.” Christopher Morley
“If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.” Antonio Porchia translated by W. S. Merwin
“The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” Ivy Baker Priest
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” Henry Miller
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Abraham Maslow
“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute—and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.” Albert Einstein
“There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Louis L’Amour
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.” Stevie Wonder
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln
“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.” George Carlin
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” Frances Hodgson Burnett
“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” Bertrand Russell
“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the hose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” Isaac Asimov
“’Fairy Tales always have a happy ending.’ That depends. . .on whether you are Rumpelstiltskin or the Queen.” Jane Yolen
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” Neil Armstrong
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar, and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.” Alan Cohen
“Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light.” Dan Brown
“It’s not what you look at that matters—it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss
“With only a change in one’s perspective, the most ordinary thing takes on inexpressible beauty.” Karen Maeza Miller
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE TO SEE THE WORLD? THORNS OR ROSES? EMPTY OR FULL? EXCITING, FRIGHTENING, OR CHALLENGING?
IT IS UP TO YOU!