perspective – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: perspective

Artwork by Do-Ho Suh | Photographer: Carol M. Highsmith | Source: Library of Congress

The Masses and the Margins

“And the soul is like the eye: when resting upon that on which truth and being shine, the soul perceives and understands and is radiant with intelligence; but when turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing, then she has opinion only, and goes blinking about, and is first of one opinion and then of another, and seems to have no intelligence.” —Plato, Republic, VI, 508 I worked in inmate rehabilitation for eight years in Read More

The Fragility of Freshness

“If you can’t smell the fragrance, don’t come into the garden of love.”  –Rumi “Let me not die while I am still alive.” –Hasidic prayer   Knowing when to cut your avocado is a tricky task. One day too early and the fruit inside is too hard. One day too late, and it turns brown and mushy. Finding optimal freshness is a challenge with fruit and with life. I hate it when my strawberries get Read More

Title: Naturalization Ceremony September 7, 2016 | Author: Yellowstone National Park / yellowstoneps | Source: Flickr | License: CC0

Reciprocity

Are the facts you think you know about immigration in the U.S. actually myths?–and what does the psychological concept of reciprocity have to do with the concept of being an American?

Health, Helping and Healing

As I get older, I realize that most problems and opportunities are multi-dimensional. There are many sides to every issue and many layers to every person. Things seem more complex, nuanced, and grey these days…

Sagrada Família nave roof detail by Flickr user SBA73 https://www.flickr.com/people/7455207@N05

Endings and Beginnings

In 1984, we formed a book group in Basking Ridge, NJ with 6 other couples. Our first book was George Orwell’s 1984. We met monthly (with few exceptions) for the next 32 years discussing a diverse mixture of books: fiction and non-fiction, simple and complex, light and heavy, funny and sad, uplifting and depressing. Each book gave us an opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings and to get to know each other on a Read More

Title: Suburbia | Author: Caribb

Immigration and Imagination

In his book, Tortilla Curtain, published in 1995, T.C. Boyle enters deeply into the frames of reference of both immigrants and the gated community. He puts you squarely into the hearts and minds of people struggling desperately at enormous risks to establish a new life for themselves as well as people who are fighting mightily to protect the lifestyles they have established through hard work and white privilege.

Mirror Pond at Belton House, by Flickr user Rich Bamford (https://www.flickr.com/photos/myrialejean/)

Awareness with Acceptance

Call it serendipity. Call it luck. Call it random events that just happened to be connected. Call it anything you want, but I just experienced a strange coincidence that boggles my mind a bit. I had been thinking about a new post (yes, that’s what I do with most of my free time) about the notion of awareness and acceptance. Incidentally, my process for writing posts is to latch onto an idea from something I have read, Read More

Title: *Explored*: Deep Space Visualisation by Candaş Şişman (TR), NOHlab/Plato Media Lab (TR) | Credit: Ars Electronica / Christopher Sonnleitner | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Delusion and Discrimination

Ezra, my 4 year-old grandson, has a favorite expression: “I NEED IT, RIGHT NOW!!!!” “It’s not fair when I don’t get what I want” is a common lament we often hear from people of all ages. Employees at corporations who are in the top 1% of all wage earners frequently complain that they should be making as much or more than their peers. After all, “isn’t it obvious that my performance is far better than Jane’s?” Family members Read More

Photo by Sérgio Rola, http://unsplash.com/sergio_rola

Wonder and Wondering

In 1968, I met Stephen Williams at Fort Holabird, Maryland, where we were both enrolled in Army Spy School.

This “Wordscape” shows the birth of a word by mapping the data related to every utterance of the word “water” in Deb Roy’s home. Image credit: Philip DeCamp/Deb Roy, via Wired

Cultural Captivity

As I grow older I see the world with a different set of glasses. As I observe more closely, I see that context is more important than content, and that we are all held captive by our cultures. Here’s a jarring example to make the point. Imagine what might go through the mind of an Israeli police officer confronting a Palestinian teenager furiously throwing rocks at him. Without taking into account the conditions and history Read More

Full Rainbow | Credit: Jakob Owens | License: CC0

Step Back

In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a massive cultural phenomenon, and its title became an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of best-seller lists both nationally and internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theaters, dominated op-ed pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership.

Photo of swingset by Aaron Burden (License: CC0)

Abuse

We are hearing a lot of sordid stories these days about professional athletes abusing their spouses and children. As horrific and wrong as these cases are, they make us think that abuse is mostly physical and is contained within a small sub-section of the population. To me, abuse is more than physical, and it is practically universal. Let me explain. Abuse can be physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual. It can occur in blatant and obvious Read More

Title: Interconnect | Author: Samuel

How AND Why

We hear a lot of either/or options in our lives. Either you can do this or you can do that. And how often is an acknowledgement of a different point of view accompanied, by a “but…?” Ya, but I think…! This post addresses the need to see the complementarity of differences and the need to ask “how” AND “why.” As the eastern philosophers would say, “there is a yin is in every yang, and a Read More

Bell Systems Technical Journal

Getting Distance on Our Problems

Everyone has issues.  They could be physical.  They could be mental.  They could be emotional.  Or they could be a mix of all three.  Some are minor annoyances.  Some are major trauma.  The challenge is to get enough distance on them, so we don’t get lost in them or identify with them.  Our bodies may not work the way we would like them to work…but we are not our bodies.  Our minds might not function Read More

Photo of Traverse City sunset by Rick Bellingham

Strength

Strength is working through, not walking over It means confronting pain, dealing with sadness, living with fear   Strength is expressing feelings, not repressing them It means shedding tears, breaking down, getting it back together   Strength is opening up, not closing down It means being vulnerable, sharing fears, seeking connections   Strength is looking in, not looking out It means finding a place inside that nourishes the soul   Strength is being grateful for Read More

Yosemite National Park | Credit: Erol Ahmed

Attitude

Randomness is. We can’t control the events that happen in life. We can find meaning in what’s not meant to be. There is not always a reason. External causes bombard us from multiple sources. We can only look inward for our own truth. External forces pull us out. There are always compelling reasons to get caught in the flow. We can only shift our attention inward. Internal forces keep us down. We can’t break free Read More

Credit: John Robert Marasigan

Finding Meaning

“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe describes well the experience of people who are trying to find meaning while living in the middle.

Title: Orbits / Quadrature (DE) | Credit: Ars Electronica / Martin Hieslmair

The Consciousness Solution

“You can’t solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Einstein

Over the course of human history there have been on-going discussions from a variety of sources (religious, social, political, etc.) about how nice it would be if our global civilization could be more harmonious and enlightened. Creating a new platform for civilization is now a requirement for our survival.