Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lesson

Perspective. This word echoes in my mind daily. It has been the central lesson and theme to my life for about a year now. It started when I began a search to find where God's glory in me lies and it continues today as I reflect on the story of my family.
Last night I watched a video that my sister Kim made a few years ago that shared her interpretation of our sister, Tiffany's, death in 1985. It was interesting to see how her "perspective" of the tragedy and mine were so very different but at certain places would intersect and find commonality. It also allowed me the opportunity to see what her memories are of the experience b/c until now, I only posessed my own.
Through this, I was reminded of how people see, experience, and articulate the exact same situation in such diverse and personally tailored ways. When we receive something, it goes through the filters of our personality, our past experiences, our mood and so much more. The pure starting place gets lost in an ego-centric black hole where it takes on the attributes of the receiver instead of standing on its own original intention. We look at things through a funnel specifically countoured by us and everything that travels through it is tainted by our desires, our needs, our insufficiencies etc. Therefore what it means to one, it most likely will not mean to another. That is what clogs communication most of the time. Perspective can be enlightening but the interpretation of a perspective can be divisive and cause separation at times. We can easily offend when our intention is to broaden and we can ostracize when our goal is to welcome.
The important thing is to stay aware of this looming possibility and assess as much as you know about your audience and then offer your perspective from a place of compassion. If mis-interpretation occurs, remain understanding and try again from another angle. Its important to keep yourself hospitable and respectful toward the various perspectives that surround you. The goal isnt to all be on the same page, the goal is to all become a valuable part of The Bigger Story.

...Or so Im learning

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