Getting Perspective Right Means Using the Right Lens
by Liz Jansen
“Where are you riding to this year?”
It’s a question I’m commonly asked, as people know I love long-distance motorcycle travel. It was especially relevant as I was at a Horizons Unlimited meeting, attended by people who have traveled the world or are dreaming of other adventures.
Last season I didn’t travel far in deference to writing Crash Landing. This year I’m nearing completion and aiming to have my book completed by Christmas, so travel doesn’t fit into this season either.
I explained that to the asker.
“What a cruel and unusual punishment!” he said.
Really? I’d never looked at it like that. If I’m using punishment as a motivator for anything I do, I’m way out of balance.
Writing this book is a joy, and the culmination of a powerful quest, or at least this phase of it. It’s no sacrifice, let alone a punishment. Besides, I’ve already enjoyed a short eleven-day ride with friends in the Appalachians while my manuscript was with my copyeditor.
Make no mistake. I LOVE getting out on the open road with Trudy, and being at an event surrounded by people who share this passion, plants ideas. But right now, my heart wants to complete a different journey.
I realized he was projecting his thoughts on me, but I also recognized a lesson.
I can form an opinion about someone’s actions without knowing much about them or their intentions. My cultural training and personal experiences shape my perspective and my natural tendency is to see through that narrow lens.
Listening to stories and traveling to different cultures have helped me understand others more, and shown me how limited my world-view is. Reconnecting with my roots and getting to know the culture into which I was born, has helped me appreciate my ancestors’ experiences, how those experiences and beliefs shaped them, and in turn, shaped me.
Traveling, whether it’s an external or inward journey, broadens the lens through which I view the world and others in it.
I don’t have to be on a motorcycle or in another country for that to happen. I just need to make sure I’m using the right lens.
Photo on Visualhunt.com