Recent Perspectives

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

March 3, 2011

The Polar Express from Elliott!

Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

She said, “Boy, he was really an ass today, eh?” I blinked, because I didn’t see it. Later, maybe, but not in that specific context which we were discussing. That got me to thinking how our perspectives change when we get to know someone. She knew him for several years, but I didn’t, and my interactions were more limited. I saw silly sarcasm, rather than challenging abrasiveness.

Later though, I was cautioned about shortchanging myself when trying to complete a task. I took that to decry my own abilities, rather than a friendly warning that you might be set up for failure rather than success. What I find interesting comparing the two scenarios is how I was willing to forgive and frankly just not see the former, but I quickly made the latter personal.

Another woman said, “Oh! I’ve heard about you!” I quipped, “All good I hope!” with horror in my eyes – egads, what was said! She clarified that she heard all about the cast of characters. I do the same with my husband and he does the same for me. I have nicknames for all the guys and gals he works with, some friendly – some not. My friend nicknames her relatives to describe them more accurately in conversation. We all share our days with those close to us. So why would anyone else be any different?

I paused though when she said it, thinking of some of the interactions I have had with her spouse. I could see both good and bad, so the question was: what was shared?

Pondering forced me to be logical though. How often do you approach someone you’ve never really met but just were able to put a face to a name, and with a very nice smile on your face say, “Oh! I’ve heard about you!” And, then, mean something terrible? For me, not ever! If I have only heard bad things about a person I would likely not say, “Oh! I’ve heard about you!” but save that bit for a private conversation later with the one who shared the gory details.

The point is perspective. I confessed to my food club recently that some of my flaws include not asking for help, taking things personally, and taking on too many tasks (more than I can handle). Above, I find it interesting why I took some things personally and others not. Especially given intentions of the people who initiated conversations.Tying it to motherhood – I hope I can teach Levi to be better than me. To be able to think and act objectively and compassionately with true reason.

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