Perspective: Consider the “dogwood”

So much of what we see—and hear—depends on our perspective.

This photograph came across my Facebook feed this week. The meditation teacher Tara Brach identified it as “a rare species of dogwood.”

How we interpret things depends on our perspective
Credit: Anthony Photography in Boise

The photo made me smile—still does. Maybe because the snout reminds me of the beautiful border collie mix I rescued and raised from a pup. She passed away nearly 10 years ago and I still miss her.

You can look at that photo and see curiosity. Or determination—the dog can’t see what’s on the other side, but that’s not going to stop her from experiencing it any way she can. But a friend of mine who raises dogs found the photo “kinda sad.” She was looking at it from the perspective of animal abuse. And it’s true: We don’t actually know what’s happening on the dog’s side of that fence.

Whether it’s a photograph, a piece of art, or a speech—every person experiencing it carries his or her own perspective to the interaction. It’s important to be aware of that as you shape your message.

And my perspective hasn’t changed: This is a damn cute photo.

Happy Sunday, everyone.