My son is studying photography for GCSE and I was watching him work at the weekend and couldn’t quite believe the difference in what ‘I saw’ him photograph and what ‘he saw’ and produced through his camera. This got me thinking about perspective and how important it is with everything in life.
What lens do you use? What glasses do you wear when you look at something? Clear, tinted, shrinking, enlarging or do you see things in bi-focal? Do you swap your ‘outlook’ depending on what you’re looking at? If so, why?
When you are enmeshed in something, you cannot see the ‘wide angle’ of the situation and when you are removed it’s very hard to understand all the nuances, intricacies or emotions of the detail.
But how often are we able to digest all these angles, lenses and perspectives when we are faced with a situation or event? Where do we get the tools to navigate perspective successfully?
Perspective comes from having a personal opinion or view on something that has been moulded over time by your life experiences, values, thoughts, assumptions plus a whole lot of other factors like community, finances, environment etc.
In order to successfully develop relationships, communications and experiences for yourself it’s imperative to develop empathy and compassion for others. We often use the word ‘mindful’ of others to emphasise how important it is to both respect and acknowledge everyone’s thoughts and feelings in situations and not just your own.
On a parenting level, children will learn how to develop perspective if they grow up knowing that their thoughts, feelings and experiences are both understood, valued and respected by their parents. Make sure you constantly engage with your children and reflect their feelings back to them to let them know that they are noticed and that you are available to both help and support them.
In the workforce, you should be constantly mindful and aware of the different points of view that exist and to allow, acknowledge and respect those different perspectives. Sometimes this might mean that you need to take a break, take a breath, or take a long hard look at yourself to make sure that whatever glasses you are wearing are not tinting the situation.
Perspective is what brings diversity, inclusion and growth. Perspective allows for creativity and compromise and development. Perspective is a life skill that our children need to develop and we all need to encourage throughout our lives.
As you move through today, be mindful of what is influencing your perspective and how this differs from others.