Over the Memorial Day weekend, we took a day trip out to Lummi Island. This is a place I grew up going to and have been to hundreds of times. As we pulled up to the ferry line in Fiji, our VW Westfalia, it was apparent we would have at least a one ferry wait if not two. The tide was out, so Harper, her friend that came along, and I jumped out of the van and headed off to explore the beach, leaving Lindsey to move the van forward as needed.
Typically, the wait for the ferry isn’t very long, so all beach combing happens very near the dock. On this day, knowing we had some time to burn and a large beach to explore with the low tide, we headed to the right and up the beach. We meandered our way slowly, searching for sea glass, agates, shells, and other interesting treasures. We had made it a couple hundred yards before we stopped so the girls could write their names in the sand. I looked up from my hunting to take in the view. Looking back towards the direction we had come, I was taken by this view’s different perspective. I had been within a couple hundred yards of this very spot hundreds of times. I had been on the water both on the ferry and other boats. I had paddle boarded through this very channel and spent time at houses directly across from me, yet this view was unique.
From this perspective, Lummi Island seemed much closer to the mainland than the view from the dock. The ferry’s path seemed different, watching it pushing the water from the side rather than front or back. The beach we were on, which always seemed so crowded and busy by the dock, now seed expansive and quiet. By just going around a slight bend, it felt to be a whole new world.
Standing there, I began thinking about how much a different perspective can change how we see things. We see the world through our specific lenses, which are obscured by thousands of life experiences and situations. Try as we might to understand where other people are coming from; we must remember that we can never fully clean our lenses. What we can do is change our perspective and try to look at a situation from a different angle. Instead of looking straight forward at a problem or issue, try going around the bend to see if that changes things. In a world where it has never been easier to share our point of view and argue with others, consider this before judging or weighing in. Is the other person wrong, or do they simply have different lenses? You will never put on their lenses, but you can try a different perspective.
As you approach roadblocks in life, from the simple to the complex, try looking at the problem from a different perspective and see if a solution presents itself. How many times have you walked away from something only to return to have the solution seem obvious? Instead of forcing yourself to push forward or reacting to someone in the moment, take a step back and change your perspective.