Sunday, February 20, 2005

Perspective and our seat assignment

How often our perspective informs, or better yet, clouds our ability to see an issue or an event in an objective way. Possibly, objectivity is in the eye of the beholder, or based upon one’s perspective at the time.

Our political ideology, class or status in society, level of education, and even willingness to entertain ideas and opinions that differ from our own causes our perspective and viewpoint about life to be skewered one way or another.

I was thinking about some of these issues as I reflected on the past two days of immersing myself into the midst of the boys and girls high school basketball tournaments in Maine.

My own perspective is vastly different than if my own son or daughter happened to be playing in the tournament. My objectivity would no longer be that of an interested “outsider”, trying to understand the tournament more as a cultural phenomenon, rather than as a fan of the team(s) playing on the floor.

Probably some who read my blog(s) recognize that I have anti-authoritarian leanings, although I wouldn’t say that I’m opposed to structure of all types. Some might even call it a “chip on my shoulder” towards those in charge. Of course, that would be your perspective concerning that matter. My preference would be to have flat a ladders of authority, or as little hierarchy as humanly possible. But of course, our perspective might influence what we would consider appropriate in just this one area. Hence, these leanings color my perspective in some of my recent dealings with an organization like the MPA. From their perspective, they obviously feel that structure of some sort is necessary, trying to coordinate disparate schools, communities and large numbers of people, at specific games sites like the Augusta Civic Center (Western Maine), as well as the Bangor Auditorium (Eastern Maine).

I had an interesting interview with a coach of one of the private Xian schools that were participating in the tournament. In speaking with this affable, and very likeable person, I recognized that probably, some of my attempts at being cute, such as my post on intriguing match up #1, could have been taken as offensive, not knowing that I was trying to deflect some of my anger and frustration that I carry around towards organized religion. Despite the best attempts to intellectualize so many issues, of which this is only one, it’s difficult to divorce emotion (and perspective?) from the equation. We were able to have an interesting dialogue on what coaching means to him, based upon his philosophy and trying to model a particular worldview (perspective?) to the young men entrusted to him in his role as a leader.

So, what does all this mean? I’m not trying to devolve all things into the swamp of post modernism, which says that there is no way of arriving at truth. I’m also not saying that thoughts and ideas aren’t worth fighting for, and that thought and analysis aren't valid pursuits, because everything is equal, anyhow. Great ideas, particularly those standing the test of time and the scrutiny of centuries are always good places to start, in any debate.

What I am saying is that life is complicated, and it could be a little less strident at times and human interactions a little more pleasant, if we would all realize that what we sometimes attempt to enforce as the truth, is only our own perspective or skewered version of life as we see it.

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