I Blog For Books

17 March 2009

Perspective Check

You probably know by now how much I love words, and actually enjoy defining them. Today's title, 'Perspective Check' is no exception. What IS perspective and why write about it? My friends at Dictionary.com have several definitions listed, but the one that suits most today's topic is definition 6: "the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship." Still wondering where this is going? Let me see if I can clarify. (written 11 Aug 2008)

For the majority of us in the workplace, or simply as a part of society, we come into almost daily contact with many different people. I say different not as a negative term, but strictly in the sense that they may be at a place in their lives that was chosen to intersect ours for a specific reason at a specific time. Don't get bogged down in that convoluted explanation, just work from the premise that I believe everything happens for a reason and go from there. (I promise, it makes sense to me!)

As most of you know, I work two jobs. I mention this only because in both jobs, I come into contact with large numbers of people every time I work. Talk about an eye-opener! Changing the way I view others has made an incredible difference in the way I view the importance of what I do. Think not? Try this experiment, if you will. Having a bad day? Does the slightest thing seem to irritate you? STOP.

I don't by any means intend to say that what is stressing you is less than important. It is important. But have you put things into perspective? I will be the first to tell you that I do not always succeed, but I give it my best shot. Before I pass mental judgment, I try very hard to stop and process what else is going on. My criteria and yours are not always the same. What irritates me to no end may not affect you in the slightest. If you use that viewpoint when dealing with others, you will find an attitude shift. I've seen it at the bottom of emails that I've received recently, something like "Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some type of battle." How true is that statement?? We don't know what someone else is going through. If we were in their shoes, how would we handle it?

I seem to have more questions than answers today. Because I don't know, I have to turn my questions over to He who does. While there are those who think it simplistic, I say let them think so. For me it is easier to turn it over to God and let Him handle it. I ask Him for guidance frequently in the course of a day, or to those of you more technologically savvy than I: I have God on voice-speed dial! All it takes is "God .." and I feel an almost instantaneous peace. It is as if He reaches within and removes the stress, patting me on the back in the process as if to say, "It's ok, Denise, I've got it from here."

So from my perspective, I try to look through someone else's eyes. When I get in that mode of thinking woe is me, I TRY (note the operative word here is TRY) very hard to remember that while I may think things are bad ... there are those who have it so much worse. Experiment today. Apply a perspective check to your dealings with others ... and see how it affects you. I'd be willing to take a guess and say that you'll be made more aware, and in a good way!

God, I thank you for giving me the gifts that you have so generously bestowed. Help me to view things as you would see, and not to judge (intentionally or otherwise). With You all things are possible.

"How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands...They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need..."~Psalm 112:1,8,9 NLT

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