Change of Perspective

Musings on Writing, Reading, and Life Narratives

Fiction writers and literary critics speak of point of view. Social scientists are more likely to discuss perspective. But both of these terms refer to essentially the same construct: the consciousness behind the perception and narration of experience. Each individual’s point of view is unique, and point of view shapes the stories people tell to themselves and to others about themselves and their relationships with their environment. The same event narrated from two different perspectives will produce two different stories.

A change of perspective can expand our perception and reframe our thinking about our experiences. We can all benefit from an occasional change of perspective.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

A New Perspective on Play

Today on her American Public Media radio show “Speaking of Faith,” Krista Tippett discusses the importance of play:

Stuart Brown, a physician and director of the National Institute for Play, says that pleasurable, purposeless activity prevents violence and promotes trust, empathy, and adaptability to life's complication. He promotes cutting-edge science on human play, and draws on a rich universe of study of intelligent social animals.

Playful activity, although it looks “apparently purposeless,” can contribute to the growth of human character, talent, problem-solving ability, social skills, and psychological health across the entire life span. Brown says, “the human being really is designed biologically to play throughout the life cycle.” In humans, play begins with the earliest interactions between infants and caregivers, when the child and adult make eye contact, coo, and later smile and giggle at each other. Brown found that homicidal young men had characteristically been deprived of opportunities to engage in free play.

Be sure to check out Krista’s Journal on the Speaking of Faith Web site. And don’t miss the pictures of the huge polar bear and the much smaller husky playing together.

© 2007 by Mary Daniels Brown