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.

[Return to MetaPerspective]

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Woman in Iron Lung Dies during Power Outage

Woman in iron lung dies during power outage - Los Angeles Times

From the Los Angeles Times comes this story of a woman who lived in an iron lung from the age of 3 until her recent death at age 61. For those not old enough to know what an iron lung was, the photo above (from the Times story) will probably surprise you.

The woman, Dianne Odell, lived a remarkable life despite being confined to the machine. She graduated from high school, took college courses, wrote a children's book, and even participated in local politics by telephone.

Iron lungs are no longer made because they were replaced by smaller ventilators that allowed patients to be more mobile. However, according to this article, Dianne Odell could not use the newer equipment because of her spinal deformity. She survived in her iron lung for nearly 60 years because of the love and dedication of family and friends.

A story like this can certainly change one's perspective on life.



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