Friday, April 17, 2009

Perspective Is Everything

one of my favorite things to say is, "perspective is everything." i believe it completely. i truly believe that perspective IS everything. perspective explains what your world view is. your world view is an indication of your heart - what matters and what doesn't matter.

and that is the reason why we have issues. isn't it? you see things up. i see things down. we see things differently. "A" is really important to you. therefore, you see things this way. well, "B" is really important to me. that is why i think you are wrong and i am right. because "B" is so important, it only makes sense, that my point of view is correct. because i am going to make decisions based upon my values. what i deem to be worth while, i put my energy towards. this is very simple. it can also be subconscious. i think sometimes we don't realize that when we make decisions - an attitude for example - we are really expressing our beliefs, our world view - our perspective. and that is why i believe what i do. perspective is everything.

cape town is such an interesting city. i wrote yesterday how it is "Heavenly." i believe it is. it is sensational. perhaps one of the best places on earth. but what makes it so interesting, is NOT just the fact that it is an amazing place. cape town is a world wide tourist destination. hollywood stars are flocking there. while i was visiting, matt damon was living there, and apparently oprah winfrey was throwing a party there too (not sure if the latter is true :-). but while it is a place of riches and beauty, it is also a place of poverty, abuse, sin, and need. and when i say poverty and poor - i mean it. i am talking about people in desperate, desperate, need.

and what is MOST interesting, is the gap between the two. cape town is a place of extremes. i saw very very little middle class. it was extreme riches and extreme poverty. this is very different than the make up of the states - which has the majority in the "middle class" range. it really felt like you were either rich or poor there. and the poor are very very poor.

but it was perspective that impacted me. we stayed in Hout Bay (a nice, wealthy, affluent community) and drove to Khayelitsha (a poor, massive township) several times during the trip. it was in Khayelitsha when it dawned on me how important perspective was. that is where i caught this image. this is a picture of happy little kids running around and playing with each other. they were enjoying one another and rolling their tires all over the place having a ball. i asked the kids to quickly gather together so i could get their photo. because i wanted everyone to see it. these kids live in a community of extreme poverty. but the smiles on their faces and their cheerful presence shows what they value: one another.

americans could learn a lot from these kids. where is our perspective in the middle of this terrible "recession?" how many of us are really about to be homeless? do we not have enough stuff to sell to make ends meet? do we not have enough family and friends to care for us in need? does this all even matter? i mean, really? what is your perspective? are you really in need? what matters to you?

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