We are living in a time and place that challenges our way of thinking every day. The more I think about the pressures of daily life the more my “big picture” of life shrinks, and the parts that I focus on are not necessarily the most important… I need to take time daily to find that greater world view – I need to think about my own perspective and how to emphasize what is really important to me.
Our Grade Five class recently created these images to help visualize perspective, and to integrate what they are learning in Math with Visual Arts. Each one of them is unique, and each one of them looks at the shapes they created from a slightly different angle…
I noticed them one morning this week and was inspired by the parallel to my own life…
Driving home from school the night before I had listened to my 8 year old recount the difficulties of her day. It is three weeks before Christmas and most children are filled with the energy and excitement that comes with prospective days off from school, gifts to open, treats to eat and fun to be had so fair play on the elementary soccer field is hard to come by. Poor Miss G. was beside herself with worry about an incident from the play ground – she is a dedicated empathizer – and I realized in that moment she needed perspective.
Life is a great big adventurous journey, and sometimes when we are in the midst of the moments we lose sight of the length and breadth of it all. We talked about the events of our lives so far and the many events (big and small) to come. What was important about this one little moment? Could we put it in perspective?
One of the big ideas in social thinking – a pillar of my job each day – talks about “perspective taking” as a skill that can be taught/learned, and yet many of the adults I meet struggle to understand the point or process of thinking outside themselves. We are challenged by the different perspectives we may encounter in eachother, and often forget the value of listening and empathizing before we judge or act. How do we get perspective?
We are faced each day with endless moments to look at and balance in terms of importance. Often with the gifts of space and time we are better able to see things as they really are; appearances, experiences and relationships are all better with room to breathe. Find yourself a tiny space to breathe and check your own perspective. Think of the other person. Think of where you are right now. Think of this as one moment on a very long journey. Think of yourself as incredibly important (absolutely necessary!) and yet infinitely small in the universe.
“When you’re stuck in a spiral, to change all aspects of the spin, you need only to change one thing.” (Christina Baldwin)
perspective: n. 1. a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance. 2. the ability to see accurately. 3. the appearance of objects and their relationship to each other, as determined by distance from the viewer and distance from each other. 4. a view over distance in space or time.