I've come to the realization that I cannot always lean on my own understanding. I often seek advice from a highly respectable person, keeping in mind, it is also just another perspective and eventually turn to God (I know it should be the other way around, but I'm a flawed Christian). Fortunately, seeing others' perspectives has become easier, and I often see why they or myself are misguided. Our perspective is tainted by beliefs, experience, prejudices, fears, and lies.
Because beliefs are such an integral part of who I am, I know that my beliefs taint every perspective I have. I will never understand why people are pro-choice. I view embryos and fetuses as human. I view them as alive. I'm not trying to start a debate, but because of how I view the unborn child, is why I cannot understand why someone thinks it is okay to kill it. I have also read many other people's perspectives. Many people do not think that an embryo is a person. If I did not believe that it was a person, I would be less apt to say it was wrong to kill it. That is their perspective, this is mine. Beliefs change as we get older, I do not have all of the same beliefs I had ten years ago, and probably won't ten years from now either. I am constantly changing and evolving, which is why my second point is our experiences also changes perspective.
Age often brings wisdom, but not always. The reason for that is experience. I am against doing drugs. I have never done any form of illegal drugs. I have never even considered it, because I have seen people who have been so addicted to drugs, they could not care for themselves or their children. I know these people, they did not choose to be addicted, they just wanted to have fun. Unfortunately, sometimes having fun leads to an addiction. I am so proud to say some of these wonderful people have broken their habit. So proud of them! They would agree with my perspective.
Then there are countless people who have managed to not become addicted. They are less apt to see the damaging effects drugs can have on someone's life, and feel it is okay for their teenage child to experiment and have fun.
Although not everything can be chalked up to beliefs and experience. Years ago, black men would be more apt to be convicted of a crime, because they were believed by white men and women to be more dangerous. Being a foster mom, I have noticed that people form certain assumptions about foster children. They do not give the benefit of the doubt to a child who is a foster child, like they would a child from an unbroken home. Foster children are more apt to be labeled learning disabled. I believe some of it is legitimate, but I have seen some cases when working in special education rooms, where I think the child was falsely put in there.
Prejudices are often rooted in fears. Fears have a powerful grip on our perspective. We have all seen or heard about women who fear their spouse is cheating on them, so instead of being thrilled when their husband brings home flowers, they become suspicious and concerned, because why else would they be so nice to us.
These fears are sometimes because we believe lies, whether we were told these lies or because we lack the truth. I remember walking behind a friend in high school. I heard another friend tell a blatant lie to them about me. I never had the guts to right the wrong, but for weeks, I felt like I was trying to compensate for the lie. My friend who heard the lie was really disrespectful to me for a couple of days. It hurt our friendship for much longer than that. Although, I cannot recall a time when someone lied to me about another person, I'm sure it has happened.
We need to be careful of our perspective. We need to be able to look at the truth and not define our existence or others existence based on perspective. Above all else, we need to love others. They believe what they do, because of their experiences, their beliefs, their fears, their biases, and even the lies they believe. The only thing we can do to change perspective, is to pray for truth and wisdom, not only for ourselves, but those involved in a conflict.