A Matter of Perspective

The artist Robert Morris once created a piece in which he employed the services of a woman blind from birth to draw while he spoke instructions to her. At one point in the execution of the piece, he tried to explain perspective to her. “Objects further away appear smaller than closer ones,” he said. “That,” she replied, “is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

I like the story, the spunky response, and the reminder that “perspective” colors everything we do, say, think, and feel. There is no single way to view a situation; the trick is to remain open to other ways of seeing the world—outside our narrow lens.

William Safire said it better: “Never assume the obvious is true.” Another quote along the same lines: “Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley

These quotes are fresh in my mind because I spend all year gathering “the best of the best” to include in NBP’s annual gift booklet of quotes, Thursday Morning Quotations book coverwhich started several years ago with Monday Morning Quotations, then Tuesday…, Wednesday…, and now this year, Thursday Morning Quotations. These are small spiral-bound braille gift books, measuring 5″ by 7″, with 52 pithy quotes to read each week for a year. The idea came from a friend who commented that blind people rarely get a chance to explore those tiny gift books that you find at the checkout counter at Barnes & Noble.

When Professor Dumbledore tells Harry, “The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution,” we nod our heads. One short quote has just stretched our perspective about “truth.”

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