In my Latin and Greek Word Roots class, I learned that the word perspective comes from the Latin per (through) and specere (to look).
I remember the class well because Mike and I took it together the semester we started dating. In college, I spent all of my time studying. But this semester was different because I was somewhat sidetracked and as a result I earned a B on the first test. To make matters worse, Mike earned an A. He never cracked the book, but he spoke fluent Italian, and had studied French and Spanish, so words roots were a breeze for him. That same evening I expressed to Mike that I was breaking up with him. He asked why and I answered, “I came to college to get an education, not a boyfriend. Do you realize that I got a B on the etymology test.” With warmth and charm he replied, “Nonsense. Come back when you have a real reason to break up.” I had never had a boyfriend before, and I thought it would be easier to break up with one. But Mike had something going for him and that was the fact that he was irresistible. And I was in love with him. And in the end I married him (and almost as importantly, I got an A in that class).
But, I digress.
The word perspective literally means to look through or to look at. It is the lens we look through or how we look atsomething. Oftentimes we think of perspective when applied to art. An artist creates a perspective or viewpoint through which to communicate some subject with an audience. This presupposes that there are multiple ways of looking at the subject.
This is a universal truth that applies to every aspect of life. There will be more than one way of looking at life’s experiences. And, it is up to us to choose the point of view that will bring us the greatest joy.
Just recently I finished a project that I have been working on for a while. I have been putting together a picture timeline of my family’s life together. Although I thought this would be a fun thing to have on my wall, I did not foresee the powerful influence it would have on my perspective.