“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.”- Chris Pine
Perspective changes everything.
I have experienced some very special things this year such as performing in the Library of Congress, being on the Today Show with Jason Mraz, meeting the Beachboys, and performing in a music video for Jason Mraz. So basically 2018 has been a very interesting year for me. And by no means am I trying to brag, but it has put me in a spot where I have a unique perspective on life. And as I said before, perspective changes everything.
Now, I know you may not have the same perspective as me, and that’s fine. Actually, that’s good, because everyone should have their own perspective. At the basis of it all, isn’t everyone unique in the way they think? I think a certain way and you think a certain way, and that’s incredible. Having different perspectives brings a lot to the table. It can inspire creativity, diversity, and most important of all, meaningful conversations. That’s why different perspectives should be respected and never silenced. Perspectives are important for meaningful conversations, and those meaningful conversations are important to have.
Perspectives are really useful and they can be really beautiful too. Here’s a story about perspectives.
Every Sunday morning I take a light jog around a park near my home. There’s a lake located in one corner of the park. Each time I jog by this lake, I see the same elderly woman sitting at the water’s edge with a small metal cage sitting beside her.
This past Sunday my curiosity got the best of me, so I stopped jogging and walked over to her. As I got closer, I realized that the metal cage was in fact a small trap. There were three turtles, unharmed, slowly walking around the base of the trap. She had a fourth turtle in her lap that she was carefully scrubbing with a spongy brush.
“Hello,” I said. “I see you here every Sunday morning. If you don’t mind my nosiness, I’d love to know what you’re doing with these turtles.”
She smiled. “I’m cleaning off their shells,” she replied. “Anything on a turtle’s shell, like algae or scum, reduces the turtle’s ability to absorb heat and impedes its ability to swim. It can also corrode and weaken the shell over time.”
“Wow! That’s really nice of you!” I exclaimed.
She went on: “I spend a couple of hours each Sunday morning, relaxing by this lake and helping these little guys out. It’s my own strange way of making a difference.”
“But don’t most freshwater turtles live their whole lives with algae and scum hanging from their shells?” I asked.
“Yep, sadly, they do,” she replied.
I scratched my head. “Well then, don’t you think your time could be better spent? I mean, I think your efforts are kind and all, but there are fresh water turtles living in lakes all around the world. And 99% of these turtles don’t have kind people like you to help them clean off their shells. So, no offense… but how exactly are your localized efforts here truly making a difference?”
The woman giggled aloud. She then looked down at the turtle in her lap, scrubbed off the last piece of algae from its shell, and said, “Sweetie, if this little guy could talk, he’d tell you I just made all the difference in the world.”
– 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life
You can see how perspective’s matter.
The Perspective of a Fourteen-Year-Old
So yeah… I’m talking about perspectives, nothing really new, but there is one thing that not many people really talk about. The perspective of a kid. More specifically, a perspective of a fourteen-year-old. We see things a bit differently.
Let me elaborate.
In English class, we had an activity on perspectives. The room was divided into three sections. Agree, disagree, or unsure. Then as a class, we were asked various questions, and we would need to move to the section of the room that represented our perspective. These weren’t exactly “easy questions”. They were questions like, “should everyone be allowed to come to America,” or “Is school violence a big threat.” These questions are questions that can start very meaningful conversations. Conversations that should be happening now, but aren’t. It is very important to have these conversations to listen to people’s perspective. If we want to work on a solution to these questions, we as a society need to start talking about these things and expressing our perspectives.
Now, you may ask why a fourteen-year-old’s perspective is important. It is important because we see things differently than an adult. Another reason our perspectives are important is that we aren’t worried about the risks of having these conversations. All we are worried about is finding a solution.
The more meaningful conversations we can have, the closer we will be to solving world problems. We just got to listen to people and their different perspectives.