Far off in the fields, on the edge of a cranberry bog, stood the hut of the Cubbins family. From the small door Bartholomew. . . [saw] the same view that King Derwin saw from his balcony, but Bartholomew saw it backward.
It was a mighty view, but it made Bartholomew Cubbins feel mighty small.
from: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
Vanguard Press, 1938
(Vanguard Press was sold to Random House in 1988)
Sometimes a person's perspective matches reality, but it can also be the opposite of reality or somewhere in the middle. My idea of what is real, my perspective, may or may not match up with what is really true, whatever *true* really is. Here’s what I mean:
One evening some friends came over to my house for a party. We had food and drinks, talking and music, laughter and fun. The kids’ bedtimes came and went. They were sung to, read to, and tucked in snug. People came and left until all that remained was the cleaning up.
Next morning, my daughters asked me, “Mommy, who was the man with the brown shoes?” I laughed and said I didn’t know. I still don’t know. The question taught me, though, that perception is everything. We all have our own eye-level views of the world.
I hold what is important at my own eye level, heart level, mind level. I pay attention to what someone says, how a person carries him/herself, the questions s/he asks me.
What kind of shoes? Not so much, for me. But I understand what is important for me or even what I can understand (or not) comes from my perspective. That’s what is true for me. And I know that shoes, in a ground-level-issues kind of way, *are* important.
Bartholomew Cubbins had a distorted view of reality. His perspective was skewed by his circumstances. Same with King Derwin. Usually the truth of a matter is somewhere in the middle of two (or more) extremes. But “balance” was last year’s word!
So I don’t promise to toss my rose-colored glasses. I will still wear them. They are part of me. What I will pay attention to this year, though, is the very fact of them. How my perspective colors my world. How I understand what is true. And how each person’s perspective is as unique and wonderful as the person him/herself.