Perspective: True, False or just another Connotation?

Every once in a while you will discover something that places everything you know into perspective. A perspective that you, personally, can appreciate and understand.

Unless we actively seek out perspective, we will never find any true perspective. That is to say, there are a lot of chances for you to be made to feel like things have been put into perspective but, really, you can’t truly understand or appreciate it. I call those chances “false perspectives”. It’s like watching TV and having an infomercial or advertisement come on that is asking you to donate to a charity for the homeless or adopt an African child to give them a better life. The advertisers are trying to get you to put things into perspective for yourself. Honestly though, unless you have been that African child or that homeless person, you can’t fully appreciate nor understand what it is like to be in that situation. Hence, the majority of people who do donate or adopt a child are almost taking a leap of faith based on what their connotations of that advert was.

Connotations of situations like the ones mentioned above will differ. Some people may see the homeless as scum that are just trying to scam money off of you when they have a nice cosy home to go to. Others will see them as lost souls that need help. Truthfully, there are people out there in the world who, sadly, will try and milk a situation for all it’s worth. They will look around and see one homeless person being helped by a generous stranger and think “That’s a good way to make a quick buck!” Therefore, how are we able to tell the difference between someone who needs our help and someone who is just playing us? The answer lies only in our own experiences.

Someone who has been homeless in the past will be better able to tell the fakes from the people who genuinely need help because they’ve been in that situation. They have a better perspective of what it’s like to live on the streets. A greater understanding of the struggles that people face which result in them becoming homeless. So, perhaps, that ex-homeless person will feel a strange pull toward the people that are genuinely homeless and that’s how they will know who is scamming people and who isn’t.

I can’t speak from the perspective of a homeless person because I’ve never been in that situation. All of us can only truly speak from our own perspectives. Speak from our own experiences.

I know that when it comes to the situation with my attempted rape (or sexual assault, whichever phrase you pick), I feel an unknown connection to other people who have been through something similar. This has only happened with 2 people but given that I have only told a total of 3 people, one of whom was his current girlfriend and so I disclosed with the intention of protecting her, I’m going to say this isn’t a coincidence. Not long after I discovered why both of these people related to me is when I came up with this theory.

What if every person in the world can feel a connection to others who have been through similar situations to them? What if some of these people dedicated their lives to helping others whom they have a connection with? Would the world be more prepared to deal with issues? It would definitely get people talking about them.

I watched a film today,“Speak”. It’s about a high school girl, played by Kristen Stewart, who is raped but at the start of the movie has very little memory of that night. As the film carries on, we see her uncovering more memory from that night right up until she discovers that she was raped. That puts everything into perspective for her. At the start of the film she is so distant and lost. She says at one point that she wonders if people would even notice her if she just stopped talking. So she stays quiet. By the end of the film we see a whole new character. She’s happier, talkative, standing up for what she believes in. Her face physically looks different from what it did at the start of the film. To begin with, everyone made fun of her but, by the end, all the girls are standing up for her when they find out what happened. It’s like you can literally see the weight being lifted off her shoulders.

Watching that movie enhanced my perspective. I’ve never seen anything like that. Never seen anything that made me truly understand a statement which I’ve heard countless times. A statement which I believed I understood, which I now realise I never truly understood until this moment.

I have regularly seen or heard a statement that says something along the lines of “the more people you tell, the less weight there is for you to bear.” It’s along the same lines as “a secret shared is a secret halved”. Never have I ever understood this statement with more clarity than what I do right now. I cannot explain how a film can possibly have that effect on someone but it did on me.

As I said earlier, unless we seek out our own true perspective, we may never find it. Our own experiences are what give us our perspective. Therefore, unless you seek out experiences, you will never be able to truly and fully understand them. It’s like watching a TV show and trying to talk to someone who says they’ve seen it but really haven’t. Or listening to someone explain how they felt when they went jet skiing in the summer when all they did was watch someone else jet ski. Obviously, a rape survivor, etc does not go looking for that experience but they can gain perspective from it. Talking about their experiences can, potentially, help another person in a similar situation. Think about it, the more people who talk about things, the more exponential the growth for preventing bad experiences and improving good ones. Think of all the good you can do just by using your own experiences to help others!

Being able to open up our minds, and our hearts, is important for many reasons. Healing, growth, healthy relationships and communication and a whole host of other purposes. For me, helping other people who have been or are in similar situations is very important. I have already helped people in my high school. Both before and since I’ve left. People still come to me telling me of how they’re being bullied or how they feel suicidal because they know that I’ve been through that. They know because I was strong enough to stand up for what I believe in. I was strong enough to use my own perspective to help other people. To let them know that they aren’t alone and that speaking up is the most important thing in the world that they can possible do because talking about it sends out the right message. Not talking about issues means they have a chance to fester and become worse. I help them out by keeping in close contact with the school and by doing what I wish people had done for me when I was in that situation. Now I’m even more determined to help people who have been in similar situations to me.

True perspective is a great thing. Not only can it help other people, if you want it to, but it can also help you. Having true perspective of your own experiences allows you to fully comprehend the situation, it’s consequences and your ability to keep moving forward with your life. It may not give you answers, but it will give you a purpose, no matter what that purpose is.

When life gives you lemons don’t make lemonade, don’t throw them back at life. Rather, think of how you can use the experience you’ve been through which has resulted in you getting these lemons to help people who are or have been given similar lemons.

I’ve  learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he-she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. –Maya Angelou

Have an amazing Sunday folks!

AV

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