Perspectives

Imagine a classic story from a different perspective. For example, picture a young officer in the military system. He worked his way up. Eventually, he commanded a star destroyer. When the Empire began building a new ship, the Emperor asked him to oversee the construction. Commanding the new Death Star was highlight of his career. Who knows if he thought the name sounded bleak?

Obviously, I am describing General Tarkin from Star Wars. The story focuses on the Rebel Alliance, so everyone in the Empire is a baddie, including General Tarkin. What is his perspective? What made him the way he was?

Any story changes when we focus on a different character. We start to see the world through that character’s eyes.

Imagine “Little Red Riding Hood” from the wolf’s perspective.

Imagine Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment from the perspective of Dunya (Raskolnikov’s sister).

In each case, the story changes when we change our focus.

What about in life? In each of our lives, we are the main character. Our stories are told from our perspective. I am the main character in the story of my life. You are the main character in the story of your life. You are good and everyone else is either a supporting character or an antagonist.

The other day, I was in traffic. My car was not moving. It was a slight incline and the person in the car in front of me must have eased his brakes. He inched backward at a snail’s pace. I watched while he touched my front bumper. It was no big deal, but it was irritating. So, I honked.

He was wrong. I was right. He hit me. I did nothing to cause it. (I couldn’t back up. There was a car behind me.)

But, what if we switched perspectives? I’ll bet he did not realize that he hit me. (He accused me of hitting him!) If he didn’t know, then how could he own it and apologize?

His story might look like this:

I was driving to school and a guy touched my bumper. Then, the guy honked and got mad at me. What a loon! Then, he had the audacity to accuse me of backing into him!

When we imagine another perspective, we see things in a different way. It’s a good exercise to help our spiritual lives. Jesus says, “Love your neighbor.” Changing perspectives might help us better understand our neighbors.

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