Everything demands perspective. Whether it’s the way you go about your life, or your area of study, there is always a lense through which you view the world, unique to you alone.
I became aware of the many different lenses I employ in my life when I moved to Exeter. Instead of being surrounded by my family, in an environment I knew like the back of my hand, I was in an area of the country which was fundamentally different to my home; full of hills and people with noticeable accents.
That’s not to say that in Essex people don’t have accents, but it’s something that you tune out after hearing for nineteen years. The Devonshire accent is still not normal to my ears.
Another perspective I’ve always held was one of London, our capital city. Living thirty minutes outside of the center meant that I was able to travel in as frequently as I liked with only a limited expense. I’d grown up going into London and doing fun things like shopping, seeing a play, or visiting family. I’d never actively seen it as a tourist destination. I always took for granted the proximity of my home to one of the most iconic cities in the world. That perspective was brought to the fore when one of my flatmates was planning to go to London. He’s there now.
One of 3 Brazilians in the flat, he’d never been to London before and was spending 3 days there. He wanted to know the sights, and it really showed just how little attention you start to pay to things like Big Ben if you really want to get to your showing of The Tempest on time. It enabled me to open my eyes to a different side of London, the one that makes mint selling ‘I HEART LDN’ t-shirts and cheesy key chains.
Perspective is a good thing to have. You can use it to tailor your life into efficiency, provided you have other perspectives to bounce off. You can use it to argue a point in a seminar, or help another person. But it can also be a dangerous thing to hold in high regard.
Always take the way you view the world with a pinch of salt; your perspective is just the way your thoughts and opinions make you see the world. It can often be inaccurate, and sometimes lead to dangerous situations.