Sunday, 23 November 2008

A Different Perspective

I am a great fan and admirer of Cirque Du Soleil and over the years have been very fortunate to see a number of their absolutely sensational shows.

At each of these shows, I have joined thousands of other people in the circus tent to reflect in total awe on the amazing and seemingly impossible acrobatic feats in each performance. When this is coupled with the larger than life sense of theatre that engulfs everyone, it leaves you inspired and full of appreciation for what you have just seen.

Just recently I had the opportunity to see the same Cirque Du Soleil show for a second time within a space of about a month. At the first show, my friend and I were seated about thirty rows back from the stage, so you could imagine it was not easy to see all the expressions on the faces of the performers or for us to fully appreciate the passionate effort that they put into their individual performances. However, what we were able to enjoy was the wonderful panorama of the overall performance.

At the second show, we were fortunate to be seated in the second row just a couple of metres from the stage and we could now see close up the performers and their expressions. Equally, having seen the show before, we both looked forward to seeing our favourite segments for the second time.

Driving home after the second show, we talked about which of the two shows we enjoyed the most and also whether it was better to sit close to the stage or further back. We agreed that both shows were equal in terms of their spectacle and enjoyment, but from two totally different perspectives. In seeing the show for the second time, our appreciation of the absolute brilliance of Cirque Du Soleil was significantly enhanced and without doubt will always be remembered.

In the days that followed it occurred to me that there are some parallels between the experience we had at the two Cirque Du Soleil shows and what happens in our every day lives when we deal with the many challenges that face us.

How often do we make a decision about something important to us based on one single viewing of the facts or act just on what are our first impressions of the situation, without taking the time to gain a better feel for things. By way of example, when we read a good book or watch a movie for the first time it is so easy to believe that we now have a full understanding of all that we have just read or seen. Then at some later point, if we read the book or watched the movie for a second time we are almost certain to discover lots of other important things that we missed the first time around.

Whilst we often don’t have the opportunity to consider an important challenge or situation for a second time before we make a decision about the course action we will take, we should always endeavour to make time to stand back and view things from afar in order to gain a perspective of the bigger picture, and then be able to revisit the challenge or situation close up to see the finer detail and further improve our understanding.

In the light of the different perspective that a second viewing can provide to us, we would then be in a better position to make a more balanced and considered decision about the action we should take. I am sure if we all strived to do this, the outcome may very well be as enjoyable and uplifting as my second visit to Cirque Du Soleil.

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, November 2008 - These two photos are an example of a different perspective of the same sculpture, one from afar and one up close.


McMGrad89 said...

Well, that was a deeeeep way to start my morning, but interesting none the less. I have always said that perception is reality. I never get onto my students when something occurs until I have heard many sides of the story: The Offender's, the Offended, and Outside Observers - none of whom tell me the same story. I then as judge and jury have to take all of those sides and come up with an appropriate consequence for the offense. Not my favorite part of the job, but a vital one regardless. Students will often say, I didn't mean anything by this or that, but I have to remind them again that perception is reality. It doesn't matter how you intended it. It matters how it was perceived.

Have a great day full of perspective.

Meow said...

Peggy, thanks for sharing this lovely thought. You are absolutely right. Now when I look back at life. I find so many instances where results could have been different & better, had I moved back a little & tried to see the bigger picture. But as they say, better late than never!


JenX67 said...

Thank you for your post and the beautiful sculpture by the sea. I'm really enjoying those. And, for the song. That song speaks to me so very much - about so many different, though similar life experiences - some mine, some belonging to people I love.

Octamom said...

This makes me think so much about photography--how simply changes the lens length can completely alter the way I look at something--and it applies to life in general as well, doesn't it? One of my dad's favorite sayings is to always try to look at a circumstance from 30,000 feet--a reference to how the world looks so different from the freedom of an airplane--I think of this often--


Fly Girl said...

I don't know how I missed this post, and I'm so glad I scrolled down just then and found it. I love your take on perspective and how you tied in the performance with real life.

I have a picture I show my students. When you look at it one way, you see a horse; when you look at it another way, you see a frog. I've explained to them that what happens in school usually depends on how they look at things -- their perspective. It's a fun way to make them think.

And lucky you to see so many Cirque Du Soleil performances! I'll have to add that to my "things to do before I'm 100" list!

Have a wonderful day,