Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's All in the Perspective by Angie Ledbetter

While searching for (and sometimes struggling to find) something to be grateful for every day, I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective. Seeing events, both good and bad, from a larger view has taught me some neat things. Likewise, looking at a situation from someone else’s point of view has also been enlightening. Sometimes, what may seem like a curse to me is actually a joy to someone else, and vice versa. It’s all in how you perceive the thing/event.

We think there’s nothing good about getting your foot run over by a bus, but maybe there is. Along with the pain and suffering, perhaps being off our feet and home from work allows us to spend some quality time with ourselves. Maybe we’ll reevaluate that 9-5 job we hate and find a way to work from home. Perhaps our neediness will allow someone else to pitch in for a change. Or maybe we’ll think up some new invention to aid people with limited mobility. Who knows? But by staying open to the possibilities, the sky’s the limit on what might be...with the help of perspective.

The definition of perspective reads, a visible scene, esp. one extending to a distance, vista; the state of one's ideas; the ability to perceive things in their comparative importance. And here's a bit of Internet lore:

A wealthy father takes his young son on a country trip with the idea of showing him how the poor live. They spend a few days on a sharecropper’s farm, then return home. The father asks, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad, the son says.” “Did you learn from the trip?” “I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches the middle of our garden. They have a creek that has no end. We have imported garden lanterns; they have a sky full of stars. We have servants to serve us; but they serve others. We buy our food; they grow theirs. We have walls for protection, they have friends to protect them.” The father is speechless. Then the son adds, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

8 comments:

Barbara Quinn said...

You're right to focus on perspective. The slightest shift in attitude can change the view of a day completelely. That and a good shot of caffeine. ;-)

Kathryn Magendie said...

I've gotten into the habit of saying "something good is going to happen this week..." or "good news is coming in the mailbox - like a check" -- sometimes I'm really surprised by how "thoughts become things"

paperwhisperer said...

Angie....great piece. Your "Internet lore" was exactly why I have never minded being poor. Actually, it wasn't until recently (with age comes wisdom) that I realized just how poor (happy) I was. Thanks for your uplifting words and I love this blog site! Keep up the good "words!" Love from Rocky Mountain Paradise...R:0)bin

Steriogenta said...

Angie, your article was such a message of truth! Your thoughts expressed my sentiments in that 1) opportunity is boundless - even in the midst turmoil and 2) one mans famine is another man's feast. What a great lesson, one that we can all take to heart!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Beauty's definitely in the eye, as the saying goes. I've had luck finding a "higher view" lately too with a few sickies in the house plus and an old lady dog who's been yacking on the floor a lot. ;)

cajunmimi said...

Angie,

Great article, yes as they say beauty is in the eye. I remember the first time we chatted I knew you were a beautiful person.

I have learned throughout the years that I am very rich with family, friends and love. I would not give that up for the world. We get busy with life, but always remember we have our family and friends. And all this time I thought I was poor.

cajunmimi aka: Peanut

Anonymous said...

i've been thinking about this kind of thing a lot lately....about how to be able to find something to be grateful for in every situation.

Mary Ann said...

Angie,
So true, what you write. Strangely, we read Thomas Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" just yesterday. The reclusive old Cambridge professor (who got out even less than we, which is very little,indeed) writes his own epitaph. He says he never got rich or famous (How could he? He was a teacher, remember. Dark humor). However, he also writes he had the only thing that makes all the difference--one true friend.

One takes it for granted that everyone has friends. We do. Lots of them, on many levels. We also have those soul sister friends who are closer to us than family. (Especially now, when I have not one but two family feuds going. Dark humor.)

That it's not give to all to have even one friend is difficult to absorb. How could such a thing happen? Everyone has friends, right?

No, many don't. I plan to never, never just assume my friends are anything less than blessings from the sky. You know. The right perspective, truly.

MA

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