A Fresh Perspective

manwithbinocularsIt was very refreshing to read an article by Ross Gittins in yesterday morning’s Melbourne Age newspaper: It’s time … to look on the bright side.??? ??????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ??????

Refreshing because it provided such a contrast to the doom and gloom usually purveyed in the media about our current economy.

As Ross points out:

But the trick is that everything that happens in the economy – whether popularly judged to be good or bad – has both advantages and disadvantages. So to every seemingly good thing that happens there’s always a downside, while to every bad thing there’s an upside.

And isn’t that so true of most of life’s experiences!

There’s certainly a human tendency to look on the dark side – a tendency also beloved and fostered by our media. And it’s a theme that appears to be a recurring one in our blog as well. :) See Scratch a Cynic, The Sky is Falling, We’ll All be Rooned or Black Hats are People Too.

As Appreciative Inquiry practitioners we know the importance of honouring both the dark and light side of human experience; of holding a space for the ‘multiple realities’ that always exist in any group of people.

two-perspectivesAnd there is always more than one ‘reality’ – always more than one perspective – for any situation. After all, as human beings we are always interpreting and re-interpreting our experiences to construct meaning from them.

But while we may find ourselves constructing negative stories about what is happening around us – or be convinced by the media to do so – we also have the power to ‘re-story’ our experience and re-frame it in more positive ways.

This does not mean denying the existence of the negative. Sunshine and shadow, dark and light, joy and pain – all are part of the rich tapestry of human experience.

We know it’s important to honour the shadow side as well. Trying to silence the voices of anxiety, grief, fear or anger – or pretending they are not there – is a form of oppression, after all. But we don’t have to focus on these emotions or use them as the frame through which we view the future. We can look for the light and find a more hope-focused and energising way to move forward.

A Leonard Cohen, in the song Anthem, expressed it:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

So thank you, Ross Gitten, for your fresh perspective on our economy. For helping us take our focus away from the cracks and imperfections, so we can see the light as well. :)

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