I am facing the mountain, this glorious indifference. I am watching as someone is watching me.*
(Terry Tempest Williams)
You’re finding out something as you read that will be vitally important for making your way in the world. And it’s this: THE WORLD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS. Things can be different.**
Rush is a perspective, slow is another. Kind is a perspective, so is indifference and “rules-first.” When we notice our perspectives, we can change them for better ones.
Brian Solis writes:
“Once you see things through a lens of possibility and growth, you’ll wonder why you didn’t see it sooner.”^
“I’m learning to see that perspective is a gift.”^
We’re very gifted.
As Richard Rohr writes, everything changes when we are able to see things differently:
‘So get ready for some new freedom, some dangerous permission, some unexpected happiness, some stumbling stones, some radical grace and some new and pressing responsibility for yourself and for your suffering world.’^^
If the world isn’t as you hope or want, change perspective, see it from a different place.
Another perspective is love:
‘Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person: it is and attitude, and orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one ‘object’ of love.’*^
It feels like Martin Buber is writing on love as perspective when he pens:
‘Love is a cosmic force. For those who stand in it and behold it, men emerge from their entanglement in busy-ness; and the good and the evil, the clever and the foolish, the beautiful and the ugly, one after another become actual and a You for them, that is liberated, emerging into a unique confrontation.’^*
Perspectives are learned, we can change them, the purpose for which Neil Gaiman makes, above, and Alan Burdick points us towards, here:
“But empathy is a sophisticated trait, a mark of emotional adulthood: it takes time. As children grow and develop, they gain a better sense of how to navigate the social world. Put another way, it may be that a critical aspect of growing up is learning how to bend our time in step with others.”⁺
Another perspective is closer, to move closer to what has caught our attention, to notice more, and maybe then it will reach our hearts. This in turn will bring us to another perspective, that of experimenting or actioning, from where we see differently again.
Our perspectives make it possible to make more of life, not only for ourselves but also for others.
(*From Terry Tempest Williams’ The Hour of Land.)
(**From Neil Gaiman’s Art Matters.)
(^Brian Solis, writing for gaping void’s blog: The importance of an open mind.)
(^^From Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward.)
(*^From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)
(^*From Martin Buber’s I and Thou.)
(⁺Alan Burdick, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Empathy is a Clock that Ticks in the Empathy of Another.)