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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

Perspective changes everything

Jess Shut Up


Have you ever witnessed something with a group of people and, while talking afterward, realize that you all saw something slightly different? Or have you ever heard a cop interviewing witnesses and all their stories are different? Perspective can have us all see the same thing differently. While looking at clouds floating in the sky, one kid sees a racing horse, while the other, looking at the same cloud, sees a man riding a unicorn in a parade. It is all about perspective.

Perspective is important. Ask any photographer and he will tell you just how important it can be. Ask any parent of an athlete and she will tell you the same. Have you watched any of the Olympics? The coach’s perspective is always different from the parents’ and the athlete’s. All want the same results, but look at the routine or the race slightly differently.

OK, why am I saying this? Because I saw perspective play a part in the last few days. Picture this: a nurse driving home, late at night. She lives outside of town on a dark strip of highway. As she heads down the darkest part of the road she sees two cars pulled off on the side of the road. All is dark. As she slows down and goes by, she sees many people outside their cars and two lying on the ground. It was only a small glimpse as she drove past. She assumes someone was hit by a car, so she slows down and prepares to turn around. She is trained and can help. She turns around and when the headlights hit the scene completely, she realizes her mistake. It just so happens that the scene was one of a much less traumatic nature — a group of people who found a dark place to watch a meteor shower, lawn chairs reclining and staring into the night sky. Her perspective as she drove by, mixed with her life experiences and what she is trained to do, told her she needed to help until the reality was illuminated.

Sometimes we live our lives without seeing the big picture and when the big picture is revealed we have an “Aha!” moment. I had a few of those over the weekend and the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. We spent the weekend with friends in Spokane and, yes, we were the people on the side of the road watching meteors burning up in the night sky. But we also took part in a training that impacted us all in different ways. Perspective. A group of people that all believe relatively the same way but hear things a little differently. All walk away from the weekend severely impacted, but all a little differently. Certain words, a glance, a story all affected us differently because of our current situation or life experience. But at the same time we were certain about other things we heard. Perspective.

We found ourselves at Medical Lake on our way home. No, not the hospital but at the shores of Medical Lake. A Divine appointment. An eagle’s nest. Four friends feeling something great, but we got there a little differently. Perspective.

I know that some of you won’t quite understand what this column is all about, but that is kind of the point. Perspective. I know I learned a lot this weekend, and most of all that we can all look at or hear something that is exactly the same for us all, and our perspective causes us to experience something different. I now see people differently; we all see things differently and need to talk to each other to understand where the others are coming from and to explain our own perspective. That is something we need to apply to our everyday lives. If we strive to understand others’ perspectives, it will sharpen our own even more.

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