Being my favorite subject, I wanted to share a little bit more about my experience with perspective and hopefully that might help stimulate some inspiring ideas in your writing.
I explained how this subject is a powerful tool for enhancing the mystery of a story due to lack of or limited perspective. The short story example may not have been to your liking, but the point of the matter is still relevant to all works. In everyday life assumptions are a common place occurrence that can lead to trouble or misunderstandings, and ultimately a learning experience. Non-fiction and biography authors know this well. It is easy to measure worth and make judgements based solely on what you see, and if you are writing fantasy or fiction you might consider how very frequently a character might misinterpret or jump to conclusions in a given situation no matter how skilled, powerful or knowledgeable they are. There is something invigorating about reading a story with trial and tribulation, accompanied by success after realizing an old wisdom in a new light.
What I also wanted you to know is that perspective is always changing because the one who tells their story will continually learn and grow from their experiences. The birth of wisdom is realizing where you or another has erred and amending or addressing the problem in whichever manner you are able. Every soul caught in the conflict of morality will look into the pitch black and see something frightening, as if they never realized what they might be capable of. For every individual that image will be different because no one person views things in exactly the same light. They will hesitate, their resolve will waver, and then a decision will be made that might change their life forever.
I like to think that we use our pasts as references for the future, to guide us through the unknown. With that being said, if you could look into the hearts and minds of the stranger walking down the street, what would you see? How are they feeling? Is something bothering them or are they joyous? Perhaps your boss yelled at you today, not because of your competence or skill, but because they are going through a nasty divorce and have no one to help them, no way to cope with the misery. Too late though because the whole office saw the ordeal and now you look the fool. OR Maybe the single mom in line at the grocery store is not the “rude bitch” you just called her. The woman could very well be having a terrible time trying to manage the little child, full of energy, that she has had to raise alone, while also considering her financial stability and her baby’s health on top of the fact that she has no family to babysit while she looks for a decent a job to get off well-fare. You probably made her day two words worse.
We all come from somewhere, our histories dramatically different in many ways and each day is partially governed by our ability to cope and manage the chaotic flux of struggle. If you knew what that boss or mother had been through, would it justify their sour mood? Probably not. How is it fair for you to be the brunt of someones bad day when you weren’t the cause? It’s not, but maybe it would open your eyes to know that every person faces struggles that you are not apart of, that you may never imagine. The poor choices and the good are both a product of experiences, family, friends and faith or lack thereof, and even small acts can go a long way to changing someones mind about something if you can touch their hearts.
You cannot know what you cannot see, but how you choose to act or respond- independent of what you witnessed or how you were treated- is what defines you. A little perspective goes a long way, so put yourself in someone else’s shoes and ask yourself: “What’s next?”