Perspective is Everything

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.

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  1. Proneto,
    I love the topic that you chose to write about. Patience is not my best asset. I also discovered many years back when people were shooting others in road rage it became evident that my short fuse was was not exclusive to just me. It seems that my neighbor who feels everyone in the neighborhood should tolerate her yapping dog or caged howling dogs all during the day and night is a prime example of patience for your article, right? Or perhaps all of the patient neighbors for not going off on her and her inconsideration of me or my neighbor’s personal rights or choices to sit outside in the quiet. Neither here nor there…we are talking politics.
    Yet, I do not find it surprising that Trump would end up being your poster child even though you did not want this article to be about politics. I too, thought Trump was too much of a mouth to hold a position of power in the US, but what has impressed me is he has proven to me that he was able to accomplish what empty words of the past did not accomplish. And although he has a loud mouth, he has not taken a dime of pay from the American people, and my tax dollars were put back into my checking account a couple of weeks ago to help me through this crisis of Covid 19. One more point if I may, because you did not want to make this a political thing, Hilary, when Clinton was in office trying to determine the meaning of ‘is’, Hilary took rewards from the health care industry(legalized drug lords) for her to shut up trying to make healthcare affordable to everyone– even the working class–who now are being held hostage just to afford going to a hospital ,reference Michael Moore’s documentary, ‘Sickco’ from 2007. Oh bye the way, this is not a promotion for the documentary, but the documentary was very revealing about the US healthcare. Ok, so now, with that being said, I too do not wish to start a political discussion. But my parents taught me not only to be considerate of others in stores, lines of waiting customers, and political views…I was also told, yes…told. If someone wins a political office fair and square no matter what party puts them into the office to be a big girl and respect the choice, and respect our country,(i.e. don’t act like a spoiled brat and tear up a speech in behind the president on television for the world to see) to be be patient and you will get your chance to serve when you can prove to be able to accomplish more than just words. But when you do get the chance to serve, be the most perfect person you want everyone else to be, and that is not so easy to do. But please learn the meaning of ‘is’ before accepting office. This is just my view no harm intended.
    Patience is a great topic because I feel respect is the back bone of patience. Thank you for sharing your views, they are respected.

    1. 1099, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. Much respect to you for your political knowledge. I must admit, perhaps my views are based in seeing the tip of the iceberg without delving deeper, especially when it comes to our president and what has been accomplished under his administration. I’m on Twitter and inevitably someone will re-tweet something Trump said and I tend to use that small sample size to base my limited opinion of him. I’m not knowledgeable when it comes to political policies or accomplishments of the past administrations either. I’ve no interest in learning more, mainly because I know that I’d feel endless frustration and anger at all the injustices and it would only rob me of enjoying life. I respect, however, those that do keep up with politics and political parties. They are passionate and to me, being passionate about something gives a person a sense of purpose. Thanks for all that you shared, I’m positive I could learn a lot from you.

      1. No problem, politics is not an issue with me, and never has been, but I have been approached by several members on this site about why I would vote such a man back into office. Well I assumed that this was a time I felt that I needed to justify my views of why I like the man. You did write a nice blog and I do hope you continue, and I will support your writings or express my views in response to your writings…if you continue because it is disappointing to me when no one cares to respond either for against what is being written. Again no harm meant in my response.

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