: representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance
: point of view
: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.
Perspective (n.): late 14c., “science of optics,” from Old French directly from Medieval Latin, from Latin “clearly perceived,” past participle of perspicere “inspect, look through, look closely at,” from per- “through” + specere “look at.” (Related to: Spy and Scope)
“I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.”
Stephen Hawking (born 1942, age 72, English theoretical physicist (considered the most brilliance since Einstein), cosmologist, and author of the British Times best seller list, A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the list for 237 weeks. He is now the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. Hawking suffers from a rare, early-onset, slow-progressing from of ALS, a motor-neurone disease that has gradually paralyzed him over the decades. Hawking has been married twice and divorce twice and has children and grandchildren.)
“From my perspective, I absolutely believe in a greater spiritual power, far greater than I am, from which I have derived strength in moments of sadness or fear. That’s what I believe, and it was very very strong in the forest.”
Jane Goodall (born in 1934, age 80, English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, and is best known for her 55-year old study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. In 1960, at the age of 26, Goodall traveled to Tanzania and entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees with little more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and works extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues.)
“When a scientist is ahead of his times, it is often through misunderstanding of current rather than intuition of future truth. In science there is never any error so gross that it won’t one day, from some perspective, appear prophetic.”
Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French biologist, philosopher, famous science writer, and activist. His scientific work covered a variety of biology fields. His father was playwright Edmond Rostand and his mother was poetess Rosemode Gerard. And his brother was the novelist and playwright Maurice Rostand. The Rostand Island in Antarctica was named in his honor.)
“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”
Steve Jobs (1955-2011, American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, former chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. Given up for adoption by two University of Wisconsin graduate students, he was raised in Palo Alto, California. Extremely smart, Jobs experimented with different pursuits before starting Apple with Steve Wozniak.)
“Injury in general teaches you to appreciate every moment. I’ve had my share of injuries throughout my career. It’s humbling. It gives you perspective. No matter how many times I’ve been hurt, I’ve learned from that injury and come back even more humble.”
Troy Polamalu (born 1981, age 32, American football strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. He was born in Garden Grove, California, but is of Samoan descent. In 2010, he was considered to be one of the best safeties to ever play the game. While playing football for the Douglas High School in Winston, Oregon he was named the 1988 Super Pre All-Northwest team even though he only played four games during his senior season due to injury.)
“One of the things we often miss in succession planning is that it should be gradual and thoughtful, with lots of sharing of information and knowledge and perspective, so that it’s almost a non-event when it happens.”
Anne M. Mulcahy (born 1952, age 62, former chairperson and CEO of Xerox from 2002-2010. She is currently the chairman of the board of trustees for Save The Children Federation, Inc, and is the board director for Graham Holdings Co, LPL Financial Holdings Inc, Johnson & Johnson, and Target.)
We all have unique perspectives that is often affiliated with a complex assortment of life experiences, most often self-identified and subconscious, i.e. where we were born and grew up, what we were exposed to, in addition to our social systems.
For those of us who are looking for meaning in our lives we are constantly scanning the terrain for ways to live creatively beyond “the box,” unlimited by the prisms of physical or mental abilities, social class, race, culture, gender or sexuality.
Life has the ability to broaden our perspectives, provide opportunities to empathize with others, and can offer pathways to be released from our own ignorance. If we choose to work together and rely on each other for alternative perspectives of truth, we can create lives that are limitless and eternal.
I love to travel. In college I had the privilege to study abroad in West Africa and in the Far East. It was exciting and scary to take those trips, especially at the ages of 19 and 21. But, those journeys opened my mind and heart to the experiences and lives of other people. The ability to really see other people, to converse with them, and hear the stories of their lives exposed me to the universal threads and themes that connect all of us.
Professional football athlete Troy Polamalu also said something very profound. He said nothing gives a person more perspective than when one is severely injured.
All of us at one time or another will undergo an illness or injury. I have had such experiences when suffering chronic asthma as a child or falling down a flight of stairs as an adult. Although illnesses, disabilities, or injuries are challenging and can be debilitating it does provide one with the gifts of humility and compassion for others.
When I was severely injured I got to see how I completely ignored people who were disabled or right in front of me. That’s a hurtful thing to experience, and no one should feel that.
Let us all seek to enlarge our perspectives of the world, and let us become the better for it.
Much Love, Tonya