The Power Of Perspective
We made it to the year that everyone has anticipated. We all made it to 2021. Well, not all of us. As of date, there has been over 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States alone. If you have not experienced or been directly hit by the virus in some kind, that number might just be a statistic to you. Perhaps, you’ve been one of the lucky ones who have not had to drop off a family member at a hospital not knowing if they would return home. Maybe your ride through the pandemic did not involve a virtual funeral, a job layoff, a family/friend suicide, an eviction, a business closing, or a two-week roller coaster of high temperatures and not being able to breathe.
Isn’t it interesting how so many people are so uncaring about a situation that is at the heart of humanity? That is until it directly hits them personally. Not caring enough is a problem, and it is not just about COVID-19. It is about life’s full package of experiences and events that seem to not shake us until they happen in our own home. Just by looking at social media as a whole, don’t you think the lay of our land feels so “me, myself, and I,” these days? How can we change that? It is time that we wheel it in, and do a better job at flying 30,000 feet above and look at the bigger picture?
The root of tapping into the power of perspective has to do with compassion and understanding. I am talking about compassion for strangers, mental health, the environment, other countries, cultures, religions, our future, and the future of others that will live beyond us. So, where do we begin? I think it needs to begin by starting with what we can control, which is our daily thoughts and reactions. If you are open to this, then continue reading the following points on how to not only think more openly, but also be a leader that will pass along your own power of perspective.
Pop Your Bubble
Take that pin and pop that bubble of only knowing what you know. Over the past year, I made it point to meet new friends that were different from me. It is an experience that positively rattles my comfort and cross the lines of social norms. What I learned and hope you do as well, is that people are open to having conversations, and whether you agree on certain topics or not, there will always be a takeaway, a lesson, and an opportunity to simply shed some light. A quick flip of the light switch can often be just enough. The key is to connect, be open, and not walk away just because there is a difference in viewpoints. Friendships can still be created with different perspectives. It is that underlining sense of compassion and understanding that will strengthen a bond.
Express your authentic curiosity. People need to feel comfortable and have trust. Both people need to feel this. Know your audience, be aware of your setting, and make sure that the timing is right. There is something so beautiful when someone says, “I wish people would ask me that more often” or “I never thought about it like that before.” We all know that famous saying, you never know until you ask – so ask (and learn!).
Take Your Time
Patients and perspective are buddies. They go hand in hand. Significant change does not happen over night. Don’t rush your research or time it takes to learn. Be genuine through your process to gain or share perspective.
Look At Your Social Media
What you put out into the world digitally and energetically is so important. How many times have you seen someone post incorrect facts, misinformation, or hypocritical messages? Take a look at your feed and see if your postings over the years show a person that is open to learning, connecting, or seeing other perspectives. Would you sit down and have coffee with a person that has characteristics of a narcissist or only thinks one-sided?
Agree To Disagree
Before I jump into this point, I want to express that there is a huge difference between what is right and wrong. Causing harm, creating chaos, partaking in violence, and expressing hate is wrong. Let’s make that crystal clear. When it comes to the power of gaining perspective, a positive intent and willingness to better understand a subject, human behavior, culture, etc., needs to be communicated in the beginning. You may not see eye-to-eye with another person and check every single box. But, depending on the goal and the matter at hand, agreeing to disagree might just be the respectful way forward. Any kind of breakthrough or element of light is a positive.
The pandemic has prevented us from living our life to the fullest. However, I am very optimistic about our future. When the time is right, get out and challenge your mind through new experiences. The life experiences we live create knowledge. Attend a different church, travel to another country, meet new people, volunteer, and engage in new environments where you can observe, learn, and get inspired.
We are the lives that have not been lost to COVID-19. We are also the lives that are still here on Earth that survived other tragedies, illnesses, health issues, and severe mental health struggles. The pandemic should have given us all kinds perspectives. The one we should all universally agree upon is that you never know what will happen in our world tomorrow, so let’s live each day with pure gratitude and love in our hearts.