I was lying in bed awake last night, looking through my window, and I noticed the stars and how big I know they are and how small they seem to us which got me to thinking about several things, how the universe works, how people work and most importantly, about perspective.
“What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face. Your own skin like a map, a diagram of futility, crisscrossed with tiny roads that lead nowhere. Otherwise you live in the moment. which is not where I want to be.” ― Margaret Atwood
My Friday started off pretty great as per usual with my morning workout and then I got into an argument with someone I care for. I said something and something was said back. I thought about how irrelevant the arguing was and looking back now, it’s like one of those movie scenes: in a setting of an empty coffee shop, it begins with a clear picture where there’s yelling and you see one person screaming and the picture blurs, the sound fades but you can still see the person yelling while the other one, remaining silent, starts to drift from the moment..
In the grand scheme of it all, little, petty, insignificant things —negative things— they don’t matter and they aren’t worth our time. It led me to think about other negative things, like the judgement people pass on, for instance, a single mother, without a husband and two different kids by two different fathers.. when in reality, she’s just trying her best to do with what she’s been given and she’s gone through enough life to realize that she’s in this alone, but she’s not. She’s got two mouths to feed aside from her own and two little boys to raise that she hopes will grow to be nothing like their fathers. To the people passing judgment, it seems so insignificant to sit there and criticize or devalue her worth as a woman but they do it with the normalization of drinking a glass of water. I decided a long time ago that I never want to be that kind of person, to anyone, regardless of what they’ve done.
I’ve experienced life through the lens of the person being judged everyday for most of my life, I still experience that, and there’s always a fear that I will continue to be judged for things I have no control over. And this fear, all from knowing that not everyone has a grasp on perspective. The lessons I’ve learned and all that I’ve experienced continues to allow me to grow as a person.
A (what I would consider) friend once responded to my question, “how judgmental would you say you are?” with, “it’s not so much how judgmental you are, it’s your ability to separate that from the person enough to see past those judgments” and that resonated with me.
What I hope you think about after reading this.. is perspective. Before you judge someone, before you feed into negativity, before you walk towards something terrible or away from something great. Look at it with perspective, for a glass of water is just another glass of water to you, but a glass of water to a struggling single mother in a small corner of the earth, in a third world country, that glass of water is beautiful because to her, it could be the difference between life and death and that in itself is a beauty that many people take for granted until it is thrown into perspective of just how short it can be. So, be kind.
“I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may – light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful” – John Constable