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Perspective is a word that is used in many ways. This is because the idea of perspective itself can deal with the greatest of objects to the most miniscule.
It deals with not only the senses, but the realm of ideas, philosophy, attitude, perception, and values.
The idea of perspective is also relational, as it deals with a person’s or people’s outlook upon the world.
What is perspective, then? It’s the way by which a person makes sense of the “world.” As a young child’s consciousness grows, the ability to perceive grows, and the ability to become cognitive of this perception grows.
This growth, however, occurs within the child’s present experience.
His perspective cannot grow beyond his ability to perceive.
The fact remains though that each person has a different perspective. This is true because each person experiences in differing, although perhaps minute, ways. This is extremely helpful. Because of the fact that our perspective is hindered by our ability to perceive, through communication with others our perception of the “world” can grow substantially.
This is especially true within the world of ideas. The Socratic Method itself relies upon the differences in ideas. By relating our ideas to each other, we can analyze them and perhaps come to a strong synthesis, or conclusion.
The world of choice is also important. Through communicating with others, we can broaden our scope of possible choices we can make in certain situations. Although this is perhaps burdening to have to choose between multiple paths, if one has the courage to choose they will see that it significantly enhances their freedom.
This can also be applied to the physical world. The strongest person in one gym may be the weakest in another, but the strongest in gym 1 has already reached what they believe is the peak while the weakest in gym 2 is starting at the bottom. To break the four-minute barrier in the mile was once thought impossible, but after the first there followed many within a short time-span. This is because the perspective grew.
Apply this idea to any “world” that you choose, the idea behind the idea remains the same: By associating with different people, a person can truly see how large the world is and achieve ever larger things.
Perspective can also, however, be a creator of barriers as well. The bigger the difference between someone’s ideas, the potential that the wall between them will be larger. What ends up happening is that a group of people become so set in stone in their own perspective, that they lose all ability to change it, thus the wall will grow ever higher until communication is nearly impossible.
Why is the growth of perspective so important, though? It’s simple; it’s a cohesive force. A person with a large perspective can get along in all walks of life, from all angles. They are able to get along with all kinds of people and thus their personal growth is able to flourish.
People with small perspectives only find themselves getting along with people with whom they have shared similar experiences and as time goes on they find themselves ever further from understanding other’s points of view.
Perspective is something that is dynamic, and parallel to growth itself. People make sense of the world through their perspective, remember? If a person’s perspective never grows, then they become prisoner to their perspective and become a stone in a world made of water.