Shifting Views: The Unseen Power of Perspective

Perspectives. Inspirational quote typed on an old typewriter.

Have you ever considered how a single moment can alter your perception of the world?

Last week I was speaking at a conference. During one of the breaks, I spoke with one of the other speakers.

We chatted about the message I had delivered that morning on the importance of Emotional Connection, particularly for men. We shared stories of family and children. We talked about how the values we model for our children will ultimately shape their path no matter how far they stray. With a wry smile, I recounted some of my “stray” experiences as a young man.

The conversation naturally segued into fond stories of our children. I beamed with pride as I told him how my son had left home to go to University all the way across the country. My chest swelled with every word as I described his journey into manhood. I felt deep admiration for the courage and transformation that my son was experiencing, and it was evident on my face. 

Rami shared some of his journey to becoming the man that he is today. Born in Lebanon, he immigrated to New Zealand. He beamed with pride as he talked about his family and his connection with his father. The value and wisdom of his experiences as a young man became more apparent with each word. 

“As a young man, I was required to serve in the Lebanese army, and I have to tell you, when I first arrived, it was a terrible experience.” 

He shared how uncomfortable the beds were—thin mattresses on concrete floors. Sleep in the bunk rooms was always elusive. 

“The food!” He said

“Oh, it was terrible. Stale rice and bones.”

There was no hot water in the barracks, and he had to endure a cold shower every day. His face lit up as he recalled how much he looked forward to their weekly opportunity to call home. He could not wait to share with his Dad how miserable the experience was. 

Hard, uncomfortable mattresses, no hot water and food that tasted like dirt. 

He lined up that weekend for his turn at the phone and as he got to the front of the line, his turn next, he listened to the man in front of him call his father. 

“Dad, you won’t believe this place. I have a bed of my own every single night. They feed us three full meals a day and I get to have a shower whenever I need one.”

At that moment, Rami’s world changed. 

The gift he gave me that day was the reminder that, In the end, our world is not shaped by the circumstances we find ourselves in, but by the lens through which we choose to view them.

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