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A matter of perspective

What do you see when you look at this picture?

A few years ago, a student handed this to me and asked me to cut it out for him.  Shortly after, another student asked if he could have a mustache, too. I was surprised at the question.  I thought this was angel’s wings.  Interesting.


When I asked another adult what she saw, she said “The Lorax’s mustache.”  I chuckled and told her about the angel wings.  She said. “It’s all in the perspective and that is a positive perspective.  I love that about you.”


I realized she was right.  What you see in the above picture is a matter of your perspective.  I asked another adult what they saw and they said, “A hay pile.”  Okay.  Maybe they work with animals or live on a farm.  Perspective.


It’s rather like the question, “Is the glass half full or half empty?”  Some might even say it’s completely full, because air is filling the parts that water isn’t. Perspective.


Have you heard the story about the brothers Christmas gifts?  One received and entire room full of gifts yet was not happy with anything he had gotten.  The other brother was escorted into a room full of manure and excitedly started shoveling.  “There must be a pony in here somewhere!”  Perspective.


Which person are you in each of these stories?  Are you the one looking at the positive side of things, or at least trying to, or are you the one who mostly sees the negative in things?


Studies show that positive people tend to be happier people, with less stress.  Why is that?  My guess would be hope.


When someone sees mostly the negative, they have little hope that things will improve.  Life is just a bummer, something to get through.  They expect that every day is going to be filled with negativity.


When someone chooses to focus on the positive aspect of life, they tend to look for the joy in everything.  For example, our washing machine recently broke midway through laundry day.  We were thankful that we had already washed the socks and underwear! 


Often, we can see a different perspective once it has been pointed out to us.  Seeing the positive aspect first can take a little practice, but it can be done.  Try it.  You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make in your life.


Go ahead, look at the picture again.  You see angel wings, don’t you?  Grin.


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