Perspective – It’s the difference between chaos and order. Not just an issue of being too close or too far; it’s enjoying the proper angle of view that allows us to connect the dots and makes sense of life.
In my experience, people who are really accomplished at something have spent time viewing their particular areas of expertise from all angles. The great news, especially for folks of mediocre talent like myself, is that we don’t have to be gifted in order to understand the great perspectives; we just have to hang out with people who are.
The Woman of Art
My wife, Paula, is a talented artist. Her skills exceed just the knowledge of media – which paper will best accept pastels or how to precisely merge a splash of blue oil paint with a dab of amber to achieve the exact hue of Prickly Pear Cactus in the setting sun. Through art, she seeks to communicate her intrinsic appreciation for the balance within nature and the overwhelming beauty of that which didn’t just come about through chance.
The Dr. Ruth of Commerce
Paul Mayer, longtime CEO of my local Chamber of Commerce, understands better than anyone the tricky and fragile menage a trois of goods, talent, and economics that keep Capitalism procreating. As a volunteer on the local community college board, Paul’s years of expertise have boiled down to one thing – helping the next generation achieve a better life. His perspective has led him to value people above goods and financing.
Men of the Cloth
Out of the 500+ preachers I’ve listened to in my lifetime, only two, Keith Stewart and Bob Deffenbaugh, stand out, but boy do they stand out. Not only are they gifted orators, able to turn a timely phrase and gradually ratchet up audience engagement to the point of rapt anticipation … they’ve each invested their lifetime toward understanding the Creator of the universe and all that entails. They have words worth repeating.
Masters of the Page
Authors Henry Cloud, Rodney Stark, and Eric Metaxas – their subjects vary from human psychology to western history to contemporary culture but they all share one thing in common; They’re astute students of the human condition – what makes us tick and how we arrived at our current state. Their unique perspectives provide an unparalleled analysis of the fluid relationship between our past, our present, and our future.
Observers of Nature
Francis Collins, head of the original Human Genome Project, and Robert Jastrow, world-renown astronomer, both share a common trait. Whether focusing inward to the tiniest complexities of human DNA or pointing their attention outward toward the vast forces at work throughout our universe, they’re both dedicated to the scientific method of discovering truth wherever that research leads them. One might assume their dedication to science would conflict with their faith. One would be wrong.
I’m not saying these folks are the only ones good at what they do but they’re the best I’ve encountered within my limited frame of reference. Moreover, exposure to their unique ways of looking at the world has imparted a distinct sense of order to my life.
How about you? You’re bound to see things differently than I do. Perhaps we could help each other connect the dots and understand a different perspective. At a minimum, we’ll get to know more about another human being. Just hit “reply”. I’ll buy the coffee.
“Our culture has filled our heads but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets but starved our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts but not for meaning or mystery. It produces “nice” people, not heroes.”
– Peter Kreeft
TOTALY SHAMELESS PROMOTION
Earlier, I mentioned my wife’s creative abilities. You shouldn’t simply believe my biased opinion about this. Through September 6, there’s a presentation of her landscapes at the Granville Arts Center in downtown Garland, with a reception on September 1 from 5:00–9:00PM. Check her work out for yourself and if you come to the reception, I’ll even guarantee you a personal introduction to the artist. I’ve got some pull there.
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Leaders Eat Last
— Simon Sinek
This new and updated version takes a sobering look at the impact of corporate leaders and the cultures that spring forth from the aftermath of their actions. It also provides an incredibly hopeful plan for restoring that which has been broken. Don’t be surprised if this book makes you want to start a company just to experience some of these principles work.