A Mountain of Perspective

Perspective is everything, figuratively and literally.

I went into the classroom next door for a minute to give the teacher a break and happened to glance out the window. I was looking for the clouds that I love so much, which seemed to be rapidly disappearing from the Phoenix sky.

What I saw instead was a beautiful view of a mountain in the near distance surrounded by some greenery (as green as it can be in Phoenix anyway) and a few of the beautiful clouds that were still in the sky.

I am not one who normally thinks that the word beautiful is any kind of description for the Southwest desert but this view was different.

This time it inspired me to want to take a picture.

I didn’t have my camera at the time but I figured I would just take the picture from my classroom. It was right next door and the windows are on the same side of the building.

I went back into my classroom and grabbed my phone to take the picture and much to my surprise the view in my window was the desert view I am used to, the one that I think is rather drab and sad looking. The mountain was almost not visible from here. Not even the few clouds that were left could help make it look attractive to me.

mountain view 1

That is when it struck me that a few steps to the right gave a whole different mindset.

I went a few feet to one side and I had a completely different feeling about things.

One of the most well-known scenes from Dead Poet’s Society, and one of my personal favorites, happens when Robin Williams asks his students to stand up on the desk to get a different perspective, a different view of the world.

Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

This view reminded me of that scene.

It was a reminder to me of how important it is to see things from different vantage points.

When someone is ranting about how a colleague isn’t pulling his weight, a few steps to the right might change the view and cause that person to go ask how their colleague’s day is going.

When a person is complaining about the specials teacher being absent AGAIN, a step to the left might turn that conversation into an empathetic hope that the teacher is ok.

To think about things differently and see another side of a situation many times offers a solution and a chance to find the positives rather than giving in to the anger or frustration and turning to negative thoughts.

It happens often in our daily lives that we are uncomfortable with something that has happened or something someone said. We often react quickly and emotionally rather than responding thoughtfully.

Sometimes all you need to do is step into another space to find the positive in a situation that feels negative.

A step up unto a desk might show us a different path that we can take to achieve our goals or get to our destination.

A few steps into another room might reveal a beautiful, unexpected delight that changes the way you feel about the day.

It is still surprising when something so simple yet striking happens and it causes you to think of your day in a whole new way. If something is not going the way we think it should, a change in perspective might be the best way to see the possibilities that are there.

Every situation in life is going to come and go, some causing more push-back than others.

If we simply take a few steps to the right and check out the view from there maybe, just maybe, the resistance might just disappear.

mountain view 2


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