The Power of Perspective

It was interesting to see the shift in people’s perspective about Harambe, the tragic gorilla shot dead at Cincinnati Zoo. Many of those who were recently outraged at the killing of the “gentle beast” are now posting accurate information about how dangerous (though not necessarily malicious) these huge animals are. It is tragic. However reflecting on the facts and not responding emotionally, based upon opinion, has resulted in people sharing their newfound information and thoughts.

Having gained a new perspective, they feel different about the news. Many people have likely fallen out with friends and family over this debate as some will have felt the killing was justified and those believing it unwarranted (until gaining new insight) are perhaps apologising for the way they expressed their impassioned opinion.

If only people did this in their daily lives before responding emotionally to those around them (and posting stuff on Facebook for the world to see) their lives may be filled with less anxiety, anger, tension and upset. The power of perspective can’t be ignored. Learning to reflect on our feelings and aligning them with our thoughts can result in the reduction and understanding of anger, aggression, anxiety and other, often, difficult emotions.

Fact vs Opinion = Fact wins

Opinions are important, but sometimes people’s opinions are so strong their feelings cloud their judgement, i.e. if it feels true, it must be true, and they act upon this premise, feeling justified in their actions and reactions towards others. There is an old saying, “There are many sides to the truth.” this references opinion more than fact, as there can be only one fact but many ideas of the truth.

These ideas or beliefs can create strong emotions that urge people in wanting to be heard because they believe so strongly that this idea or belief is the truth- it is their truth but not the truth- they set about trying to change the other and bend their opinion to alleviate the acrimony between them but in a way that is divisive and not constructive or collaborative. Hence relationship problems, political and religious tension war and destruction.

Attempting to change others to alleviate your feelings of anxiety is a mistake; if you did not like your face, would it change if you smashed the mirror?

Gaining new perspectives and reflecting upon our feelings is essential for compassion, understanding and personal growth.

Change your perspective and you will automatically change your feelings towards others and the world you live in.

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