Change Perspective, Change The World
Life is all about perspective. It's our perspective that defines our view and understanding of the world around us. And so, by changing perspective we can, in a way, change the world. Not always in the literal sense, but by changing our perspective we can definitely change our reality.
What is perspective?
Perspective is a particular way of thinking and viewing things that depend on one's experience and personality.
Changing perspective is what can help us see things from a different angle and acquire a wider knowledge about things, people, and our world per se. And to some extent, we do it all the time when we learn or experience something completely new.
As someone who questions a lot of things about life, changing perspective is what helps me to find some answers or, rather to say, some explanations to things that don't make much sense to me. I admit I have some problems with the current state of the world, but as I have recently realized, it has little to do with the world per se. I missed the moment when my perspective got limited by what I thought I knew. I've spent years trying to build my own vision of the "perfect" world where humanity would start living up to its potential, instead of senselessly fighting each other, and somewhere on the way I decided that utopia might be the answer.
But over time I started questioning that perspective too, because I realized that it's not the world's fault that it doesn't live up to my expectations. Nor were my expectations as perfect as I thought they were. After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
How much I thought I knew vs how much I really knew?
I believe in education more than I believe in democracy, because no democracy can exist without highly educated people.
However, the education I'm talking about here isn't as much what they teach us as it's what we learn. It's not up to them (basically what we see in authoritarian countries and what we call propaganda), it's up to us (to our critical thinking).
I also believe in individualism which I see to be the essential part of a healthy and strong society. But not only that, individualism is also necessary for critical thinking. And critical thinking is needed to see the difference between how much you think you know and how much you actually know. Because, let me tell you, the gap between these two quite often is intricately huge.
2022 had been one of those years when I realized that despite putting so much effort into learning, I didn't know much about this world at all. That despite trying my best to stick to my values and morals, my perspective wasn't quite full or progressive. All because I'd been focused too much on things that would support my vision/view and completely avoiding anything that would challenge my view or contradict what I believed to be "universally" true.
I didn't notice how what I thought I knew became limiting to me and how out of that limiting knowledge of the world I built a fortress that isolated me from the true desires of my heart, my beliefs and values, and even from the person I truly want to be.
Little did I know then that this frustration and inability to live fully in "oh so not perfect world" was connected to how little I actually knew about it and how oppressing and limiting my ideas of it were. They weren't all wrong but they weren't contributing to finding an answer to one of the main questions I had "How to live in the chaos of this world?" because they denied and fought the mere concept of chaos. But "chaos" is the state of existence and so consequently it means that my ideas of the world, my perspective, was denying existence as well.
What I knew wasn't necessary wrong, I just put my focus into a wrong lens
Most of my life I was trying to swim against the tide. Because nothing made sense. So much has been put into making the world into what it is now: the fight for women's rights and human rights in general, for freedom. So many people had to give away their lives in the fight for a better future for the next generation, but at the end of the day it all felt to me like building a sand castle to only watch it being washed away by the tide of chaos of this world.
What's the point in trying to fight the inadequacy of social constructs if we still have authoritarian regimes shredding people's freedom away to protect the interests of the few in power? And what about the poverty that is a threat to a free world, or slavery that is still alive and seems thriving in certain corners of the world? Unethical treatment of animals and never ending pollution; everyday we're sacrificing pureness of the air we breathe for "cheap" products that we don't need because big corporations use all their power to make us feel like our life depends on them, and so much more?
All of those were suffocating. It was the chaos I denied and fought against. Of course, I wanted it to go away. But I knew it wouldn't happen, and probably for a reason. So what was I missing then? What was the flaw in my way of thinking and viewing things, in my perspective? It was the first time I looked at it through a different lens.
Here're 4 bugs I found in my way of thinking (that a lot of us share)
- Wanting to eradicate something that in your view is bad influence, unnatural, or threatening is no different from "fascism". The point of freedom is to learn to coexist with our differences and versatility of the world.
Now, instead of focusing too much on my "ideals" I'm working towards learning our differences and finding a way to coexist with them.
- Utopia isn't as good as it may seem. In the world where everyone is the same, that's basically one of the main conditions for utopia, where there's no good and no evil, there's no freedom as well.
True equality is built on our differences, not on our sameness. We're equal not because we are the same, but because despite being different, we have the same rights.
- Education is what makes progress possible. Because we only can truly progress when people can think for themselves.
By educated I don't necessarily mean "smart" and I'm not necessarily talking about IQ either. To put it roughly, what I mean is that being educated means staying up to date with the world you live in. By educated I also mean "critical thinking" because once you start really wondering what this world is about, why certain things are the way they are, you develop this thinking in which you are capable of analyzing and evaluating things on your own before you form a judgment.
As I said before, it's not about what they teach us but what we learn. Going an extra mile on my own here and there is what helps me to practice critical thinking and expand my knowledge and understanding of certain areas of life.
- Progress takes time and it's not linear at all.
Despite how "chaotic" and at times unfair and terrifying our world is, we can't affect it directly. Objectively speaking, democracy, though not without a flaw, is the best form of government so far, then why so many countries are still stuck in authoritarian regimes, right? Because no matter what we think, we can't impose democracy on people who don't want it, it would make us no better than those in power in authoritarian countries. However, we can and should protect our freedom, in case, one day more and more people would want to join us.
Sometimes it's okay to live in chaos
I don't agree with a lot of things that are going on in the world but now, having changed my perspective, I think this world has had enough of "fixers" and is in a desperate need for a different approach, our understanding? Learning how to detect flaws in our way of thinking that might limit us in our understanding of the world and ourselves is the way to start doing it.
I believe in education, and I value people's individuality. And I think with both of these we can push the progress into right direction.
Knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery.
― Miles Davis