I’ve learned some things in my 51 years of life but one of the most important, and I think, most valuable in helping me maintain peace with people is the concept of perspective. I often find myself incredulous at things people say and do, whether it be in reality or online. One example is Twitter. As my user name suggests, I am indeed prone to the hyperbolic, or exaggeration to make a point. So I tend to post things on Twitter that lean toward exaggeration because I find that funny and useful. Those that are more literal tend to find my posts over-the-top and sometimes offensive. It all depends on your perspective. Another example happened the other day. I’m driving through the drug store parking lot, hoping to get into the drive-through lane to pick up my prescription. There are 3 cars ahead of me (in my lane) that are stopped. The lead car’s driver is out of her car speaking to someone in the drive-thru/pick-up lane and acting completely oblivious to the 3 cars behind her. She’s goofing off, going back and forth from her car to the other car. I’m feeling like leaning on my horn and flipping off this inconsiderate woman, and wondering why the other 2 cars ahead of me aren’t already honking. As a resident of the Island of Hawaii, I’ve learned that people are expected to show “Aloha” to everyone. Not that they DO….but the expectation is there. “Aloha” loosely translated is love, respect, friendliness, etc. So I’m asking myself, “If I honk at this woman and tell her off, she (and maybe others) are going to judge me as this “fucking haole” that has no ALOHA. (Haole is basically a mainlander, foreigner, white person, depending on its use) Even though, in my opinion, its this inconsiderate woman that isn’t showing any aloha to the people behind her. And again, the concept of PERSPECTIVE is at play. From her perspective, she isn’t doing anything wrong because she’s just being friendly and is obviously on “Hawaii Time” so there’s no need to rush, and this type of thing happens all the time on this island. And from her perspective, I would be at fault for not understanding her perspective.
To me, a person’s perspective is formed by their upbringing, experience, belief-system, and other influences. For me, I’ve basically had it beaten into me to consider other people. When I go shopping, I want to scream when I can’t get down an aisle because someone’s cart is blocking both lanes, and they are staring at a food label, not thinking that someone might come down that aisle at some point. I picture myself ramming their cart like a semi-truck hitting a mini-cooper. But I have to remember PERSPECTIVE, and the fact that they didn’t have a parent scream at them regularly to consider other people. So I just wait patiently until they look up from calculating caloric content and move their cart. Then I also have to smile and say thank you instead of rolling my eyes.
Perspective influences everything. Politics is a big one. Although I really have a hard time understanding why anyone with even simple observation skills and common sense could support Trump. Even if his policies were sound and helpful for the nation, his mannerisms and speaking ability are a complete give-away to his lack of presidential behavior and intelligence….but I digress. I’m not a political person. I don’t vote and I hate getting into political debate with anyone. But I’m an observer. I understand that Republicans are Republicans because it makes sense to them. It agrees with their perspective on humanity and the country. I can’t discount that. It comes from their experiences, their upbringing, and their outlook on life. The same goes for Democrats or any other party. I know intelligent people from both sides that I respect, and I know they aren’t stupid or bad people. They believe what they believe for a reason, and to them it is a valid reason. For me to oppose them and say that it isn’t valid is to discount their experience and disrespect them. But to be clear, I’m absolutely not saying that I agree with everyone just because i respect their perspective. The truth is the truth and it is absolute. But its not my job to tell someone that they are believing and embracing a lie. And I may be the one embracing a lie and hopefully I’ll stop at some point. What matters to me is that I treat people with respect and kindness no matter what they believe. I don’t have to hang out with them. I don’t have to be friends with them or invite them over for dinner or put them on my Christmas card list. I can distance myself from them, especially those that try to push their beliefs on everyone. And I can live at peace with them.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in