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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Monday, August 11, 2008

Knowing When to Keep Your Mouth Shut - Lezak's classic finish delivers gold

My daughter was a competitive swimmer, so we're always interested in the Olympic swimming coverage. But even if you're not a swimming fan, or even a sports fan, this story is worth seeing.

The French men's 4x100 freestyle relay team had boasted that they would smash the Americans in the championship race. Never mind that the American's second team had set a new world record in the event preliminaries. Even NBC commentator Rowdy Gaines said, "I've figured this race on paper at least 20 times, and I don't see any way the Americans can win it."

If you didn't see this race on TV las night (and even if you did), go to the NBC Olympics Web site and watch the video to see how the Americans DID manage to win it, in about the last inch of the pool's length. This is one of the most thrilling Olympic moments you'll ever see. And not only did the Americans win the gold medal, but the top five finishing all broke the world record that had been set in prelims. Imagine breaking a world record and coming in fifth, not even winnning a medal.

Note to Rowdy Gaines: This is why they work the races out in the pool and not on paper.

Note to the French swimmers: Sometimes it's best to keep quite and let your actions speak for themselves.

Note to everybody: Never underestimate the heart of a champion.


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