Perspective May Create and Frame How People View Events

We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort.        – Barack Obama

Without getting political, this post is about how a perspective may support a world view.  In other words, what we chose as our focus, determines what we see.  This point is illustrated in these “scholarly” comic strips from Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman’s “Zits”  and Bill Keane’s “Family Circus”.

This point was also driven home during our faculty convocation on this past Friday.  Our Chancellor, Cecil Staton, provided fantastic opening remarks about the future we are working to create and the possibilities.

With a colleague, we attended our convocation.  While we both work in health education and promotion, my perspective or main focus is on enabling thriving and his main focus is on prevention.  Both of us agreed it was a fantastic, motivating and educational event.

In watching the event, I was impressed with how well Dr. Staton was speaking without referring to notes.  He was smooth with transitions and was able to recite facts displayed on the slides without looking at the slides.  I then noticed that in the back of the room there were monitors that had a running script.  I thought, wow, that is great and that demonstrates to me how a teleprompter is an effective aid or precursor to providing a powerful presentations.

My colleague also noticed the teleprompter in the  back.  His reaction however was to then compare the words on the screen with what he was saying to see if they matched.  To me this was revealing for several reasons:

  1.  My colleagues approach, comparing what was on screen to what was being said, was much more difficult and took more work.
  2. If there was a discrepancy it would be noted as a problem.  In reality the discrepancy may have been an improvement.  For instance, the Chancellor may have adjusted to use more descriptive words than what was on the script similar to what President Clinton did when he went off script and delivered a more effective presentation.
  3. Also, if there was no discrepancy, the presumption would be that it was a good presentation.  However, his method of reviewing the presentation, comparing the words on the screen with what was being said, interfered with his a ability to hear the presentation which would compromise that conclusion.
  4. These methods demonstrate a different desired outcome, a not bad or more good outcome because of the different perspective.
My focus was on what were the causes of his success while my colleague was interested in discovering what may be wrong.  These unique starting points have potentially marked influences on how we approach our jobs, relationships, and life, an issue I will briefly explore in this post.  
In relation to current events, as discussed by Thomas Friedman’s columns, my reading suggests he has an idealized outcome perspective that shapes his world view.  In his August 16th, 2017 column, “Charlottesville, ISIS and Us“, he explains:

…I am a pluralism supremacist…How could I not be? I look around me and see our Air Force chief, who is of Eastern European Jewish descent, reporting to a woman Air Force secretary, who was among the early women graduates of the Air Force Academy and whose senior aide is an African-American woman lieutenant colonel. The base commander here in Qatar, overseeing the whole air war, is of Armenian descent, and his top deputy is of Lebanese descent…

In other words, he is looking for and found reasons why things were working so well

In his August 20, 2017 column, “Be Strategic, Not Impulsive, on North Korea” he suggests a strategy that would in the end benefit North Korea, the US and the rest of the world.  His perspective does not lead to a strategy that would just penalize North Korea.  In his column he explains:

…How? The best place to start is by putting on the table a clear, formal peace proposal so the world — especially South Korea and China — see that America is not the problem…What should the American proposal say?…we would establish full diplomatic relations; end the economic embargo and sanctions; and provide economic assistance, investment and a peace treaty to replace the 64-year-old armistice agreement (if they denuclearize)…It’s called the art of the deal…

…Such a proposal would give the initiative to us, rather than us waiting for China to rescue us with pressure…Indeed, it would give the Trump administration the moral high ground with everyone…

To me this perspective provides a way to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits – especially us.  We benefit not just from the results, we also benefit by knowing we are helping to cause the solution and are not part of the problem.

Make it a Great Week.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

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