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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

The Power of Perspective

I find it fascinating two people can look at the same thing and see it differently. What seems clear and definite to one seems confused and uncertain to another. This has never been more evident than it is today.

This is “the power of perspective”.

The difficulty is in learning to accept perception is reality. Then, being willing to allow others to have a point of view which may completely contradict our own.

This is easily seen in the social, political and faith issues which are constantly being challenged by people and groups who are not only unwilling to allow others to have their point of view; they are determined to change that point of view, because they do not believe you have the right to have it.

Here is where the “power of perspective” becomes a tool to be wielded for the purpose of destroying an opposing view.

It is as if suddenly, one perspective is not only the right one, but is the only one you can have. The absurdity of a statement like this should dissuade us from making it.

Unfortunately, it does not.

This is because we all see the things, we are passionate about as more important than those others are passionate about.

What if this were not true? What if we saw value in a diversity of thoughts and perspectives?

Instead of hostility being our first response, what if contemplation and consideration were how we responded and reacted when others do not agree with us? If we were to do this, it might be possible to engage in useful dialogue, instead of uselessly striving to impose our will on others.

To accomplish this begins with understanding” the power of perspective” and then realizing ours is not the only one. From here, we may be able to see the value of another’s perspective.

So how do we fight against our desire to be right? We do so by realizing we may not be and by realizing we do not always need to be. This takes caring, kindness and consideration, none of which come to us naturally.

The freedom that comes with perspective cannot be overstated.

The desire to allow others to have their own, is one that is self-determined. Just as the damage done by not doing so is self-inflicted.

The choice, as always, is ours.

What can we do about all this? The answer is simple. We must desire to have a pure heart. One that is not focused on us, rather one that is focused on others.

For me, before I can focus on others, I must strive to focus on God.

Here is where perspective determines our ability to see and comprehend the value found in the individual and the God who created us all.

Jesus said on His Sermon on the Mount, “blessed is the pure in heart for they will see God”. This requires a single-minded focus on God. This can only be found when we take the focus off ourselves.

If we can ever accomplish this, “the power of perspective” will be seen in our willingness to love God and others enough to listen and learn without needing to be seen or heard!

Matthew 5:5, “Blessed is the pure in heart, for they will see God”.

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