Perspective: Our Window on the World

by Nicholas George on May 4, 2011

I looked at several online dictionaries as well as one hardcopy dictionary for the definition of perspective.  I found essentially two definitions:

  • A method of showing distance in art by making far away objects smaller.
  • A way of judging how something is in comparison with other things.

I’d like to focus on the second description since I work more in life than in art.  According to this one, perspective is how we make judgments regarding our world and everything in it; be that good versus bad, important versus not, or difficult versus easy.

In essence, perspective is an opinion; it is your opinion.  By virtue of this definition, your perspective can never be wrong, unless you make it so.  It can also be changed based on new knowledge or just a feeling.

I love looking at how my own perspectives have changed over the years.  A simple example is how I see the trees and forests while driving down the road.  For a long time I would see the scene as if a picture, the trees were there along with other features of the terrain but it was all flat.  A few months after I started my own business and what seemed like all of a sudden, the trees and terrain became three dimensional.  I started seeing the layers and recognized that some trees were closer than others.  Logically, I know it was never flat and yet in my mind’s eye that is how I saw them.  I imagine a contributing factor was my hurry to get to my job everyday and focusing on that which helped me to miss the world around me.  What’s interesting is that I know when I’m stressed or in more of a hurry now because I start to see the scene as flat again.  It’s a good reminder to relax and refocus on what is important in my life. 

When was the last time you paid attention to your perspective?  Take a moment, right now, and stop – look around; what do you see?  Share your perspective and what it means to you.

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