A Matter of Perspective

He was a mentor to those who were at the beginning of his organization. He taught them the unwritten rules of how to survive in the organization. When others struggled, he provided them with direction. Often he would reach out to help those in transition.

He hosted a circle of colleagues to discuss issues of current interests. The discussions had a calming influence where agitation might have led to escalating consequences.

For those who needed guidance on their future, he helped them understand their options. For some, those options were life-changing new directions. He also enabled them to realize the options that had previously seemed unrealistic.

Ted led a life of purpose. He wanted to help. He never asked anything in return. He was satisfied with his life. But in 10 days his life was about to change, and he was fearful for his future. For others what Ted was about to experience was something they looked forward to, that was not the case with Ted.

For Ted, being released from prison after 20 years was a change in life he was not looking forward to. He was losing his community. He was no longer to be a man others respected but a felon and a loss to society.

How do we look at people? Do we look at their status? Or their biology? Do we place labels on people without looking beyond our perceptions of what those labels mean? Do we give people a second look just as we would give a second look to something we intend to buy? Do we let a person’s past mistakes define them forever?

It’s a matter of perspective. Perspective is something that is essential for all design. It’s essential for thinking anew about scientific puzzles. It is the structure for all creative works. Changing perspective is the essence of problem-solving. If perspective is so essential to all aspects of society, why can’t we look at our fellow humans with perspectives based on who they are and not preconceived labels?

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“Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance and it allows us to appreciate their true value.” – Rafael E. Pino (General Authority Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

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