Category Archives: Perspectives

On Perspective

HARDPEN'S PORTFOLIO

writeawriting-com

I do have a friend who would usually be mistakenly identified as me. There were many instances that  people in the university where both of us are teaching called me by his name and him by mine. Why? None of us is a dead ringer for the other but very likely that our  similar built, height and rounded face would make people commit that mistake.

Seemingly bemused, he asked me one time, “Why would they think I am you? Do I look as old as you are?” I paused for a while, smiled then told him jokingly, “No, I think I just look as young and handsome as you are.”

As my friend laughed at my response, I thought that the contrasting way we looked at the issue has opened an opportunity for me to revisit the topic “perspective.”

That (perspective) is one of the most amazing things about us…

View original post 689 more words

On Perspective

writeawriting-com

I do have a friend who would usually be mistakenly identified as me. There were many instances that  people in the university where both of us are teaching called me by his name and him by mine. Why? None of us is a dead ringer for the other but very likely that our  similar built, height and rounded face would make people commit that mistake.

Seemingly bemused, he asked me one time, “Why would they think I am you? Do I look as old as you are?” I paused for a while, smiled then told him jokingly, “No, I think I just look as young and handsome as you are.”

As my friend laughed at my response, I thought that the contrasting way we looked at the issue has opened an opportunity for me to revisit the topic “perspective.”

That (perspective) is one of the most amazing things about us humans – our tendency to look at the same thing differently.

Anything in this world can be viewed from different perspectives. We get to decide at what angle we would look at circumstances, problems, events and even objects using lenses that are uniquely ours. We tend to measure the value of those things using our own sets of standards and label and define them according to our beliefs.  Those standards and beliefs are shaped by the way we were raised by our parents, trained by our  teachers, influenced by the people around us, and conditioned by our culture.

The sum total of the experiences we accumulated since birth and the amount and quality of information we gathered through the years from different sources are the factors that contribute to the kind of perspectives we develop as persons. Our way of viewing things depends on the belief system that those experiences and information impressed upon us.

Each person is entitled to embrace a particular attitude towards something. There are no specific measurement to determine the rightness and wrongness of perspectives. Only the consequences of a person’s action (or the lack of it) as a result of embracing certain perspectives could perhaps be labeled as right or wrong.

When we are about to take a perspective it’s like we’re positioning ourselves in the number scale and decide whether to go north or south.  We can either be positive or negative with our perspective. Those are the only directions we could take when we look  at issues and circumstances confronting us. It’s a matter of choice.

Perspective is said to be like a coin, it only has two sides. We flip the coin and choose either “head” or “tail.”

Our perspectives affect the decisions we make. They inform the things we think, say and do. Thus, while we are entitled to have any kind of perspective, in the same manner that we are entitled to our own opinions, we have to understand that we will bear whatever consequences there may be for embracing the perspectives we take.

We also need to understand that we could not assume that what we believe or see is definitive. Different people have different ways of looking at things. The perspective of the world that dictates the lens through which we see it is not the same for everybody. We need to develop the ability to see things from another’s viewpoint.

Perspectives can either be broad or narrow.

Having a broad perspective means being able to see the bigger picture.  `

I once had a conversation with  another friend about working conditions. He bewailed the fact that a truck driver in his country earns more than what he is earning in a year as an expat teacher. After listening to his litany, I told him to pause for a while and dig deeper into his comparison and consider other factors like number of required work hours and the physical demands for the job. When computing the number of hours, I reminded him that we as teachers are not actually working during winter and summer breaks but we get paid in full by the university as stipulated in our contracts.

He realized at the end that his pay per hour is actually higher than the truck driver and his working conditions are much better.

It is not really hard to train the mind to look at the bigger picture. It is easy to look beyond the obvious if only we’re open-minded. It does not require a special kind of training. All we need is common sense.

There are a lot more that could be explored in the discussion of perspective. At the end, the thing that matters is the answer to the question, “How do our perspectives affect the way we live?”

If the lenses we are using to view the world have brought us success and happiness, why change them. We’ve been told many times, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what about if those lenses are seemingly broken and  have caused us nothing but failure and misery?  Is it time to visit an OPTIMIST?

Do NOT Expect

Meditation-Silhouette

If you think this is a perfect world then prepare to face a perfect disappointment. This world is not a perfect one and will never be. Things are not the way you wish them to be. People don’t behave, talk and think the way you thought (or wished) they would. Your co-workers, your boss, your friends…even the people you love… might  treat you in a way quite the opposite of what you expect.

Nothing is perfect in this world. Nobody is perfect in this world. So, do not expect too much or do not expect anything at all from anyone.

Do not expect that the politicians will deliver on their promises. Do not believe them when they say that should you vote for them they would bring about utopia. Be thankful if they could but do not bet on it. The truth is no earthly being  is capable of making the social, political and economic conditions of the world perfect.

Expect nothing from your leaders. If you think you could do better than them…that your country is better off with you at the helm… then run for public office.  Oppose them. Or go to the street…. protest. Convince people to champion your cause.  Otherwise it would be best if you just keep quiet and perform your civic duties and be a responsible person and citizen.

Do not also expect that the workplace is a perfect environment. That’s the worst assumption to make. You will never find a heavenly workplace. You will end up disappointed if you expect that the people in your organization, from the rank and file to the people upstairs, are angels. They are not. They are just like you and me…humans.

Expect nothing from anyone in your workplace. Just work and perform your duties and responsibilities as stipulated in your job description. That’s the way to do it. Love the job and enjoy the pay.

If you’re not happy with the job and the pay… LEAVE. If you love your work and the compensation is good but you feel that the organizational climate is so terrible that it suffocates you then LEAVE. If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of…LEAVE. It is as simple as that. Find employment somewhere else. Find the perfect workplace you dream of. If you think you are too good to be just an employee then start a business. Make it grow. Employ people and see for yourself if you would be a better employer than the employers you hate.

You should not expect other people to solve your problem (or solve a problem for you)…not even if those people are mandated by their job description  to solve those problems. Even if it is the moral obligation of a person to help you get out of a difficult situation, don’t expect that you’ll get help from that person. Be thankful if you’ll get it but one thing you OUGHT to learn is to solve your own problems. Find a solution to whatever difficulty you are encountering.

Do not expect people to think and behave the way you do and embrace your principles and advocacies. Always remember that people look at things from their own perspectives and are driven by a set of motivations that maybe entirely different from yours. Never assume that your perspectives are correct and theirs are wrong.

Remember that people think and behave in different ways. The biggest disappointment you’ll ever encounter is when you expect that all people (or even half of them) are reasonable and conscientious.

You will be gravely disappointed if you expect that the love, generosity and kindness you show will be reciprocated by your friends, loved ones or anyone around you.  Do not expect any of them to praise the good things you’re doing and express gratitude for the favors you do for them. Lucky you if they would.

Lucky you, indeed, if the people you deal with , the leaders you elect, the ones you work with and work for, and your family and friends have conscience and conduct themselves within the bounds of reason.

If not, does it mean   you are unlucky? Not necessarily. Things just didn’t turn out the way you wanted. At least, don’t  be like them.

You have two options. You need to decide. Move away from them or embrace them for the way that they are.

Your choice.

As Mother Theresa said, “People are often unreasonable and self-centered, forgive them anyway.”

She added, “ You give the world the best you have and it may never be enough, give your best anyway.”

You might not get the fair treatment and respect you think you deserve but you do not have to retaliate. As Martin Luther King Jr. puts it, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

So, when your expectations are not met, move on and say, “Life goes on.”

Hold on to your dreams. Hold on to the values you hold dear.

Finally, there are two questions you need to answer. Are you a better person than those who you think disappoint you? That’s the first question. Here’s the second. Do they not consider  you a disappointment also?

Reflect!

Source: Do NOT Expect

%d bloggers like this: