Perspective Is Everything
Understanding that perspective changes how we experience the world around us can help with living a happier, more productive life.
What is perspective?
Perspective is “a particular way of viewing things that depends on one’s experience and personality.” Perspective also means “the ability to consider things in relation to one another accurately and fairly.”
What does perspective mean to the paralysis community?
As individuals, our perspective is shaped by our family, friends, and upbringing. Additionally, where we live, cultural influences, and societal influences play an important role. But most importantly, our CHOICES have the biggest impact on an individual’s perspective. Our CHOICES impact how we view and experience what is in front of us.
In simple terms, perspective depends on where you are sitting, looking, or how you view the world around you.
For example, take the following photos:
If you only choose to see just half of this photo your perspective is limited to the upper half.
If you choose to see just half of this photo your perspective is limited to the bottom half.
If you choose to see the whole picture your perspective is no longer limited.
The full picture of what is in front of you tells a more complete story.
What does a person’s pre-injury and post-injury life teach us about perspective?
Before your injury, life was full of small, medium, and large frustrations. Your perspective impacted how you felt when you had to take out the trash or do the dishes when you were tired. Everyday tasks and situations came with different levels of frustration.
After your injury, approaching everyday tasks can create new and different frustrations that previously did not exist. But if you could travel back in time with your current disability perspective and could live your previous able-bodied lifestyle, all of your previous frustrations would be much different (likely lessened) because of your new disability perspective.
Our perspectives can lessen frustrations and make everyday life easier.
This remains true with your disability. The difference between a paraplegic lifestyle and frustrations, are much different than those of a quadriplegic lifestyle and frustrations. Somebody else will always have it worse than you, and if you could put yourself in their shoes (or wheelchair), your current frustrations would be changed.
Understanding that things could always be worse helps shape perspective and lessen the frustration of everyday tasks and situations as well.
Using perspective to feel like you are moving downhill rather than uphill:
If you CHOOSE to approach challenges with a perspective where frustration can be lessened or completely removed, then the everyday tasks you face will transform into fun, or at the very least, easier tasks. How we perceive everyday tasks impacts if they feel like a constant uphill battle or a more enjoyable downhill experience.