There is a lot to unpack in our modern world when it comes to perspective. Our arguments are tainted with very selective logic. We surround ourselves with reinforcing voices, so that what we already think is rarely truly challenged. We assume a moral superiority, which, historically speaking, is the starting position for both revival (like The Great Awakening) and for Great tragedies (like The Inquisition). We have narrowed truth and reality, so that more things appear mutually exclusive to us than are technically true.
All of this is an avalanche. It buries us, making it hard to breathe. It is dangerous. Most people right now are asking how we are supposed to make sense of anything in a world of partisan politics, news outlets with an agenda, and drastically different narratives surrounding the same set of facts.
There are two kinds of people in this world. People who want to navigate these complexities to discover the truth. And people who want to use the claim of pursuing truth to try to validate their opinion. It’s hard to tell which you are.
But if we are honest about pursuing the truth in any setting – world politics or personal relationships, it starts with an evaluation of our foundation.
Streams to The Ocean
When we evaluate our perspective, we often look at the ocean. We look at the big sweeping waves of attitude. The rip tides of emotion. The vast depths of action.
But the ocean is fed by streams. There is a steady flow within each of us that feeds those depths, heights, and currents.
The stream that serves as the foundation and feeder for our perspective is the choice we make concerning The Two Circles. The Circle of Choice sets a foundation of ownership and stewardship responsibility. The Victim Circle sets a foundation of blame and an external locus of control.
A co-worker blames you for a mistake. If your foundation is in The Victim Circle, you might fly off the handle or figure out a way to expose them. The goal is to change them. With a foundation of victim mentality, changing others is the only way to change anything. If The Circle of Choice is your foundation, you will evaluate how you can confront, take responsibility for what was your fault, and strive to be better. The change begins within.
The reason this is so foundational is because the perspective around which circle we are in sets a baseline for how we interpret everything (and everyone) we encounter.
That baseline bleeds into everything we say and do. Confirmation bias reinforces it. Sort of like if I tell you most cars on the highway are red. That may or may not be true, but your brain will notice more red cars on the highway today than you might otherwise and that will taint your ability to access which color car appears most often.
Setting Your Base
So many of us are lost at sea when it comes to trying to discern what is real, what is true. We are riding the tides of predisposition. How do we challenge ourselves to see better? To perceive truly? Because our attitude will not change and our actions will not evolve unless our perspective is convinced they should.
The Two Circles represent the options for our base, our foundation. They are the weight-bearers for our perspective.
If we want to discover what is real, what is true, we need to take a good, hard self-assessment and discover which of those circles is our base. Because from there our perspective flows. And from our perspective flows everything else. It is the worldview out of which we interact with the world.
And if we don’t like what we find, bases can be changed. Foundations can be uprooted and replaced. It is hard work. Agonizingly hard.
But it is true.