Wednesday, August 9, 2017

It's All a Matter of Perspective -

My family (Walker) reunion has been the past several days in Island Park, Idaho. There were 48 of us - 4 generations, living in the 12 bedroom 4 bathroom cabin. Island Park, specifically, Macks Inn (the last photo in this slide show is Macks Inn), is home to many of us, a place we go for solitude, reflection, and relaxation. I love the area almost as much as I love my family!

The 7 of us children were reared to be independent thinkers, compromisers, listeners, and these characteristics are more than evident when we're all together - and we've reared our children to be similar. Yikes! We're also very creative, and get us together and the stories, jokes, projects flow. And this reunion was no different.

My brother and his son designed a decal from a photo of my father when he was young. The silhouette, along with the phrase, "Cool Like Clyde," were printed onto vinyl, cut, and ironed on to t-shirts. 52 t-shirts of various colors and sizes, 52 decals of various colors, and this made the evening ripe for confusion, tension, and energy.

So, after all the confusion, we were 5 decals short for the last set of t-shirts. And someone, who was already carrying extra energy, came to my sister and me to let us know how she felt about the missing decals - and how rude it was for someone to take the decals, particularly because they were obviously set aside, and yadda yadda yadda. She shook her head, raised her voice, stomped, and then marched off.

And there my sister and I sat, working our butts off making these decals (and bumper stickers that were a last minute request), now with emotional vomit on us. And I chose to not take it personal, and my sister was so irritated. And the one who yelled, well, it was off her chest, and she's volatile at times any way, and she was back to her other activities. And my sister and I made 5 more decals, and I nodded my head at the reaction, and my sister hurt.

My sister, to her credit, rather than letting this experience fester, later confronted the one who yelled (just like we were taught as kids). And, the offender's perspective on the situation was different than my sister's. The yeller said she felt slighted, after all of the work her family had gone to (and they had), that no one cared about their hard work.

And here's where my title comes from - 3 of us, all women, all seeing the same event, all a part of the same situation, all experiencing it differently. And as my sister and I talked about this on our drive home, we talked about the times this has happened in our lives - numerous, and wondered, out-loud, just when we've jumped to judgment rather than understanding. When has my determination to be correct tainted my perspective or my opportunity to learn about the "other's" point of view. And how many times does "Perspective" happen in real time as opposed to later on, when time has faded our picture of the event.

I'm grateful for a family who is full of energy and full of willingness to learn from each other. Perspective - pass it on.

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