I’m sipping my coffee and thinking about a question. “How do I actually change my perspective?” The colleague who asked the question wasn’t being flippant or obtuse, and the context was work we were doing together. Sincere question. I was stalled for a moment, because for me the answer is ludicrously practical; make a literal change in the angle of view, or distance from which something is observed, or… I think you get it? Something as simple as standing on a chair to see something a different way, or looking out a different window to capture a different view… right?

Looking out one window of the office, onto a city I’ve known for 42 years.

We continued the conversation as we walked to the break area for coffee. We looked out other windows, still talking about how to shift perspective, metaphorically and for real.

Maybe it’s only been 22 years? Depends on what years “count”, doesn’t it?

Different window, different views… same city. So, different perspectives on this one place. Handy to have a real-life demonstration available. Lovely morning for it. We get pretty easily locked into a point of view, or some very specific limited understanding of the world or our circumstances based on our perspective. Being able to shift our perspective and “see things another way” really matters for things like communicating with others, being compassionate, and effective problem-solving that presents an inclusive solution to a problem that affects many different groups. We’re not a homogenous mass of flesh all of one mind; we’re individuals.

There are so many ways to look at something.

I sip my coffee and consider my perspective – then and now. Even those differences can provide new perspective. I certainly don’t see the world quite the same way I did when I was a woman in my 20s, 30s, or 40s. Time passed. I experienced more of what the world had to offer, and learned and grew through my experiences and decision-making. It doesn’t take standing on a chair, or looking out a 10th floor window, to take advantage of this mortal lifetime to reflect on changes in perspective. It’s hard not to change one’s perspective. How much effort do people have to put into to clinging to a poor understanding of an event, or a mistaken assumption, or limited perspective to “stand still” and “never change”?

It may be as easy as a chair or looking out a different window, or asking a new question of the person in the mirror. Change is. Our perspective easily shifts with our changes – if we allow it, and take notice. The trickier bit, I guess, is constructively changing our perspective to give us a “better angle of view” on something we don’t necessarily experience or understand from our own circumstances.

I think on it for a while, sipping my coffee on a rainy chilly winter morning. Would my thoughts be different on a summer day?

My eye falls on my to-do list. I smile; I’ve worked the list down to just one or two inconsequential tasks, and an errand. Not bad. It won’t stay that way; I’m always adding to it and working it. It’s just a list of reminders to change something. My coffee is cold now, and I could use a manicure. It’s far too early in the morning to get a manicure; it goes onto the list. That’s how it works. LOL

…I could use another cup of coffee. It must be time to begin again.