Reflections, Vol 6: How does perspective inform our lives?

This series poses questions for personal reflection.

My views are offered as a thought starter.

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We live in a time where facts and truth are difficult to agree on. 

It really shouldn’t be so hard. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Fact as: “Something that has actual existence” and Truth as “the body of real things, events, and facts.”

That’s obvious until we add a human dimension.

When in conversation, we assume everyone hears the same thing. Experience reveals this often isn’t the case. Perception is reality. We see what we believe, not the other way around. 

Individuals of opposing views have separate facts and truth. 

But of course, that doesn’t apply to us!

The most valuable professional training I ever received was an intensive course offered by the firm, Change Masters. Their proposition was simple: We see ourselves based on our intentions, and others see us based on our actions. The training involved learning to see one’s self as others see us.

I was shocked to learn that people interpreted my actions differently than what I intended. In effect, we manufacture our own truth.

I’ve kept a personal journal for over thirty years containing wisdom from hundreds of books. I often refer to my journal, finding peace in its contents. I was surprised to learn that Leo Tolstoy did the same thing. 

Tolstoy published the collected wisdom of his journal in a book titled “A Calendar of Wisdom.” He considered it his most significant literary contribution. 

I purchased the book, and it didn’t speak to me!

How can something so meaningful to one person fall flat with another? In a similar vein, how can something I know to be factual be outright rejected by individuals with an opposing view?

These are examples of how perspective creates our reality. The only antidote for this is to remember its truth.

Recently, in his weekly blog, “The Dispatch,” David French lamented that virtue hasn’t always followed faith in our Christian leaders, writing, “Indeed, we forget a fundamental truth—our own maladies often make us unable to see the world clearly.”

Most of us believe we are objective, rational, and truthful. It’s hard to recognize, let alone admit, that truth is acquired through a tinted lens. I constantly fall into thinking others see the same world as me, which is a recipe for conflict. 

The world isn’t merely given; it’s received in the flavor of our perspective.

We don’t want to believe this, but it’s worth thinking about!

Anyway, that’s my take on it.

How is perspective informing your life?

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