Written by Clare Dimond

August 4, 2015


Do you remember that old advert for the Guardian newspaper? The one where we look out from the perspective of a woman in the street who sees a skin head running towards her. (This was the early 80s when a shaved head was a symbol of a youth who would bring down society. Now it is the sign of a middle aged professional man.)

Then the perspective switches to that of an elderly man. He sees the skinhead run past the woman towards him. The man puts up his briefcase to defend himself as the skinhead launches himself at him. We see the man’s terrified face. Then our view pans out and we see a load of bricks falling onto the spot where the man had been a second before the skin head pushed him out of the way.

This is the problem with or the beauty of perspective (depending which angle you take…). It makes nothing fixed and everything possible. Every single thing about a situation, about ourselves, about other people changes in line with our viewpoint. The daily evidence of this is in our national newspapers. Are the immigrants flooding into Calais, to give one of a billion examples, human cockroaches (The Sun), a drain on national resources (the Times) or people fleeing from tragic circumstances (The Guardian).

New information, talking to people, visiting different places can all change our perspective. And sometimes all that is needed to dramatically change the lens through which we view the world, how kind we are to ourselves and others, is a nap. Or a deep breath.

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