Perspective is a position or standpoint from which something is considered or evaluated. Or, we might say it is the place from which we observe or understand something. John Green wrote almost exactly four years ago about the perspective of being college educated:
When I was in college, I remember fearing that the dreary grind of adulthood would feature infinitely more existential dread than frat parties had, but the opposite has been true for me. I'm much less likely to feel that gnawing fear of aimlessness and nihilism than I used to be and that's partly because education gave me job opportunities, but it's mostly because education gave me perspective and context.
In a similar vein my friend, Tom Long, once wrote of this kind of perspective (a story related in Play the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It). Long was in a grocery store and it is important to know that for Long, grocery shopping was nothing but a painful experience.
He was in a somewhat foul mood when he ran into a couple of people who were actually enjoying grocery shopping. It was a mother and her young son, and they had learned how to make a game out of grocery shopping. She would read him the first item on her list—paper towels, aluminum foil, whatever—and he would hear what she said, and race around the store until he found what she needed.
Then he would bring his trophy back to her shopping cart and place it inside. She would applaud him for what he had done, give him another item and off he would go. They were laughing and having a great time with it all. Well, you know how it is when you meet somebody going down a grocery store aisle—you’re going to meet them several times before you finish your shopping. It was about the third aisle over when it dawned on him that the little boy had a mental disability. The mother caught him staring at them. He said, “I was just admiring your relationship with your son.” “Yes,” she responded, “he is a gift from God.”
It is all a matter of perspective.