Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Perspective

Nine years ago, I was a senior in college. My parents had just found out I was pregnant. And in a whirlwind, my life changed. At my mom's orders, I moved out of my apartment, quit my jobs, and moved back into my mom's house. I found a new job. I transferred my language class to the local community college. Mom told me to start going to church every Sunday. I remember being angry at her for making my already tumultuous life even more so.

I remember being upset when she would talk to her friends about my situation like it was all about her. I remember hating my lack of privacy and being watched like a caged zoo animal. I remember anger and resentment. And now, I wish I had written down what I was feeling. I know why I didn't - because I was sure anything I wrote would be discovered and shared with others while I was living under mom's roof. But how I wish I had gotten those feelings out of my head and onto paper knowing what I know now - that I wouldn't always feel that way.

I'm reading a memoir written by both a mother and her daughter. The daughter is bitter and resentful at her mother. Nine years ago, if I had read this book, I would have identified with her. But here I am, a mother that hasn't even gone through anything similar to what this mother has, yet I find myself identifying with her rather than the daughter who I've actually had some things in common with. It's amazing how your perspective changes with knowledge and experience.

So many times we think we are right and people who don't share our viewpoint are wrong. But the fact is, we all see things the way we choose to see them and have different opinions based on what we've been through. Our beliefs and convictions change and evolve as we do. I wasn't right nine years ago. Neither was my mother. We weren't wrong, either. We were just seeing the same situation from two very different perspectives.

A remarkable trait that far too few people possess is truly trying to see something from someone else's point of view. We're all too blindsided by our own to even give a damn. But our viewpoint is only that - our's. The world is full of many of them. The narrow-minded will miss out on a lot of wisdom, knowledge, and experiences in their own self-righteousness. 

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