The World In Perspective

In this discussion we are going to talk about what affect the world perspective has had on each of us, from the viewpoint of the family all the way to the world stage. But to do that, first we must understand a few terms in more detail.

Perspective is defined as: the choice of a single point of view from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, typically for sharing with another. It may be a visual, audio, or linguistic choice, depending on the sense to be addressed and the media used to effect the sharing. Viewpoint is another word for this principle – with a similarly broad interpretation.

A world perspective, or worldview, is defined as: it describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying knowledge.

So based on these two definitions, perspective on the whole can be broken down based on systems which separate and unify a certain group of people together. Some of these are (but are not limited to), family perspective, political party affiliation perspective, religious denomination perspective, community perspective, environmental perspective, peer perspective (such as at work or at school, friends, lovers, etc.), city perspective, state perspective, a national perspective, a climate perspective, a continental perspective, an intercontinental perspective, and a world perspective.

Obviously, going over each and every one of these perspectives would be time consuming, would probably bore you to tears, and would draw away from the main point of this discussion. So instead of a long drawn out discussion, we will only look at a few to put the whole into context for you.

The Family Perspective

Family is defined by a number of different factors. So here are a few definitions to bring it into focus: 1. a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head; 2.a group of persons of common ancestry; 3.the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children ; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family

Throughout recorded history, in every culture, the family has been the fundamental building block of any society. And the family perspective is the first perspective, outside of a person’s personal perspective, to be ingrained on their personalities. It takes a child, in their formative years, from the singular concept of ‘me’ to the plural concept of ‘we’. And within the family perspective, lays the foundation from which that person will develop their own personal perspective and their world perspective, and all of the prejudices which will tint that views as they grow older. As well, it encompasses all of the other types of perspectives.

So to personalize the meaning of all of this, the family perspective is a major part of what makes you who you are. It is part of what made you pick the friends you did, and the romantic relationships you chose. It is part of what made you decide upon what political part to belong to and what religion to join. It, also, helped to develop your personal preferences and your prejudices. And it helped develop your self esteem, your self worth, and many of the behavioral patterns you use.

The Religious Denomination Perspective

Religion, like family, is defined by a number of different factors. So here are a few definitions of religion: 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs; 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects; 3. an organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to a higher power or truth.

So, the religious perspective would be that which a person or a group of people choose to believe in and adhere to, pertaining to the more spiritual aspects of life. Within the scope of one set of beliefs, many groups can form, branching off into separate denominations or sects. Each of the denominations would adhere to the same core beliefs, but would then extend those beliefs into something that is different from other denominations.

This type of perspective, like that of the family, helps to shape who we are, how we view the world around us, and how we interact with others. It brings to us a sense of unification, or a sense of belonging, and gives purpose and meaning to our lives. It is also one of the dominant filters which tint the world around us. It helps in the formation of our prejudices and preferences. And it spirals out into all other aspects of our lives.

The Peer Perspective

Another perspective that has great influence on both our personal perspective and our world perspective, is that of the peer perspective. A peer is defined as: A person who has equal standing with another or others, as in rank, class, or age, in a specified group

The peer perspective, is all of those opinions which influence your own, from those you consider your equal like friends, lovers, co-workers, etc. These are the people we rely on to help shape our personal world, our opinion of ourselves (outside of the family perspective), and our opinions of others. It is here that prejudices can turn into bullying and self esteem can be eliminated with nothing more than a few cutting words. It is also here where we find the most support and understanding, outside of the family perspective. This is the place where romances are formed, and new family structures begin.

Most begin to develop a peer perspective, outside of the family, when they begin school. But it is not until the adolescent years, where teens are beginning to push against the walls of their family perspective, in the desire to individualize themselves as distinct entities apart from the family, that real peer perspective begins. This is because the circle of peers a teen cultivates, will in some ways, replace the family.

The World Perspective

All of the topics listed above play their part in helping us form our own worldview. Some of them are developed through the family. While others through religious affiliations and peer groups. But the worldview is also cultivated through the mass media.

If you spend half your life watching the news and reading the newspaper, in which there are segments or articles vilifying certain types of religions, peoples, or beliefs, it becomes very natural to take on those same beliefs. This is because, one assumes that the general opinion being held by an overall community (local, national, or international) is that which is expressed and influenced by the mass media. This coupled with the family, peer, political, and religious perspectives helps to build a person’s worldview.

There are many levels to the concept of putting the world into perspective. The depths of these individual levels is dependent on the person in question. It varies from person to person, based upon a melding pot of all of the different types of perspectives combined.

What Does This Have To Do With You?

What does this have to do with you? As an Empath, it is extremely important to understand both your own perspective and those of the people around you. The better you understand how those perspectives were formed, the better you understand the person in question. It means you can more easily slip into their perspective and see where they are coming from in any discussion, debate, or argument.

It may seem like alot of information to take in, at any given moment. But keep in mind this is what you do instinctively on an unconscious level, and this discussion only brings it to the surface to add conscious understanding to it. ^_^

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~ by Misuchi Sakurai on March 26, 2009.

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