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Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

Perspectives

It is in all how you look at it really.  Last evening the weather person said that the temperature was 18C but that it felt like 12C with the wind chill.  Immediately Sydneysiders remarked how cold it was. Although you saw a few people out walking in singlets and shorts, there were many others who were wearing wool hats and scarves. My partner Brian, who has just in Australia after enduring another Canadian winter, remarked how mild it was and wasn't that a pleasant southerly breeze. I who had been here just that much longer and have enjoyed two summers in a row, felt the change in the air, it was definitely cooler than I have become used to, but I was in no way cold. Yet many on the streets beside us as we walked shivered. It was just a matter of perspective.

 

This is not a new phenomena that I have experienced. When I left the winter cold of Saskatchewan to study in British Columbia, I was amazed to find things green in the depths of winter. Others would remark how cold and damp it was, but to see daffodils springing up from the ground in January was a special treat for me. However, by the time I left Vancouver 15 years later, I came to know that it was damp and cold in January even if the flowers were budding. I had adapted. Likewise after 15 years in Toronto I came to define hot and cold in new ways. I am sure that within a few years, I too will be complaining about the bitter cold of a day with a high in the upper teens and I will be looking for gloves and scarves just like everyone else.

 

That's the thing with people. We get used to weather conditions. We get used to lifestyles. We get used to things and so we take them for granted. Travelling in Colombia, when I worked for the United Church of Canada, I got to stay with some of the local people. I marvelled at how they could live without smart phones, computers, etc. I couldn't do that. But only a few years before that, I did not even own a mobile phone. A number of years before owning a mobile phone, I did not have my own computer. Yet in 2009, I seemed amazed that people could live without these devices. My perspective had changed. I have got used to things like high speed internet, skype, netflix, and countless other things that only a few years ago were not around or maybe only the very rich people have.

 

The thing though about perspective is that not everyone's perspective is the same. Some of us come from different backgrounds. Some of us have different histories. Some grew up with much, the latest, and the new. Others of us grew up with very little and hand me downs. For some a particular issue might be a minor annoyance- like a gnat that we might brush away with our hands. To others, the same issue might be like Godzilla trampling Tokyo. In short, we all come from different perspectives. And as such, we need to cut each other a bit of slack. I look at this issue differently than you do, because I have had these experiences and I have had this background. My opinions will change, but maybe faster or slower than your opinions will change because of all the different interactions, experiences, problems, challenges, triumphs, surprise successes that I have had. You because of different interactions, experiences, etc, will approach the issue totally differently. I won't be 100% right, and you won't be 100% wrong. Both of us will be somewhere in the middle. Now should I be wearing my flip flops or my parka today? Only time will tell. Blessings. 

It is in all how you look at it really.  Last evening the weather person said that the temperature was 18C but that it felt like 12C with the wind chill.  Immediately Sydneysiders remarked how cold it was. Although you saw a few people out walking in singlets and shorts, there were many others who were wearing wool hats and scarves. My partner Brian, who has just in Australia after enduring another Canadian winter, remarked how mild it was and wasn't that a pleasant southerly breeze. I who had been here just that much longer and have enjoyed two summers in a row, felt the change in the air, it was definitely cooler than I have become used to, but I was in no way cold. Yet many on the streets beside us as we walked shivered. It was just a matter of perspective.

This is not a new phenomena that I have experienced. When I left the winter cold of Saskatchewan to study in British Columbia, I was amazed to find things green in the depths of winter. Others would remark how cold and damp it was, but to see daffodils springing up from the ground in January was a special treat for me. However, by the time I left Vancouver 15 years later, I came to know that it was damp and cold in January even if the flowers were budding. I had adapted. Likewise after 15 years in Toronto I came to define hot and cold in new ways. I am sure that within a few years, I too will be complaining about the bitter cold of a day with a high in the upper teens and I will be looking for gloves and scarves just like everyone else.

That's the thing with people. We get used to weather conditions. We get used to lifestyles. We get used to things and so we take them for granted. Travelling in Colombia, when I worked for the United Church of Canada, I got to stay with some of the local people. I marvelled at how they could live without smart phones, computers, etc. I couldn't do that. But only a few years before that, I did not even own a mobile phone. A number of years before owning a mobile phone, I did not have my own computer. Yet in 2009, I seemed amazed that people could live without these devices. My perspective had changed. I have got used to things like high speed internet, skype, netflix, and countless other things that only a few years ago were not around or maybe only the very rich people have.

The thing though about perspective is that not everyone's perspective is the same. Some of us come from different backgrounds. Some of us have different histories. Some grew up with much, the latest, and the new. Others of us grew up with very little and hand me downs. For some a particular issue might be a minor annoyance- like a gnat that we might brush away with our hands. To others, the same issue might be like Godzilla trampling Tokyo. In short, we all come from different perspectives. And as such, we need to cut each other a bit of slack. I look at this issue differently than you do, because I have had these experiences and I have had this background. My opinions will change, but maybe faster or slower than your opinions will change because of all the different interactions, experiences, problems, challenges, triumphs, surprise successes that I have had. You because of different interactions, experiences, etc, will approach the issue totally differently. I won't be 100% right, and you won't be 100% wrong. Both of us will be somewhere in the middle. Now should I be wearing my flip flops or my parka today? Only time will tell. Blessings. 

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