In Perspective

May 05, 2021

“Let’s get a fresh perspective on that.”

“I don’t understand their perceptive.”

“Just put it into perspective.”

“If you change your perspective…”

The English word perspective derives from Latin per (through) and specere (to look). You might say that perspective is all about seeing, and to some degree that’s true. 

I think perspective is really all about relationships. Literally, what you see depends on where you are, your position in relation to the thing. Two people standing apart from each other looking at the same thing will have different perspectives on it. They will see different views.

The meaning of the word goes beyond seeing with our eyes though, and perspectives involve other kinds of relationships. Relationship with values and beliefs. With other people, groups, and identities. With yourself, how you see yourself, and your thoughts. With experience.

Sometimes it’s important to look through another perspective or to change your perspective in order to improve, deepen, or shift a relationship of some kind. Sometimes it’s necessary to hold your perspective, to look through the situation exactly as you do so that you can amplify and enhance a relationship.

Perspective is essentially personal. It’s made up of all the relationships that make us who we are in any given situation, any given moment. 

That’s what I’m most curious about these days - what’s under, inside, beneath the perspectives I have. When I notice a perspective, I try to open first to curiosity about that perspective. Is it straightforward or strong or contradictory or comfortable or safe or mediocre…? Sometimes, that’s where I stay. Other times, I invite more open curiosity to questions like: why, what if, and what matters most?

For me, that type of curiosity helps me BE with my own perspectives as well as with other viewpoints. Because the world is full to the edges and beyond with many, many way of looking through.

Well, that’s one perspective anyway.