No. 1314



The word “perspective” is an interesting one in the English language. It means, according to the dictionary, “The relative importance of facts or matters from any special point of view.” To say it another way, if we are not careful we can get bogged down in the way we see things. I might add: we can get so bogged down that this condition can be fatal.
Some time back, when we were in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw an interview on television where a father from Maine was crushed because his son had committed suicide. In the interview, he was telling about the conditions that led up to this tragedy.
His son played football, and apparently this is what he lived for, and he was confined to “virtual” learning where he did not have the opportunity to interact with his teammates and classmates. Over time this young man became despondent. The longer this condition went on, the more despondent he became, until one day, tragically, he took his own life. As I sat there and watched the interview, I became more and more convinced that what this young man needed was a fresh perspective. One thing that was not discussed is whether or not the father had told his son that he loved him. We all need that, and when we don’t get it, especially when other isolated conditions exist, we get to thinking that no one cares if we live or die.
In retrospect, I am confident the father did love his son but he did not say so, at least during the television interview. This is a valuable lesson we can all learn. I will bet my bottom dollar that what this son really needed was a fresh perspective. In addition to his father telling him that he loved him, he also needed to help him see how things would be when the pandemic had passed and he was back in school, playing sports again, being with his classmates again and preparing for a great future.
To be sure, the human mind is a powerful thing, and when it gets on the wrong track, we can do some strange and often tragic things. We have all heard of the person who has a one-track mind. That is not necessarily bad unless it gets on the wrong track, which is what happened to this young man.
Now, as I am coming to the end of our time together, this question please, “Do You Need a Fresh Perspective?” I will confess that I need one on a regular basis, and I try to do that by starting each day with a devotional to remind me of who I am and who I serve. I also read a couple of chapters of two of my books that will seed my mind with some positive thoughts to think about during the day.
The bottom line for me, and hopefully for you as well, is that I take some time to count my blessings and remind myself of all the things for which I have to be thankful: good health, a fantastic wife, a warm comfortable home that is paid for, and a life-time calling where I have been blessed to serve others. And even though we have problems, which have always been true, we still live in the greatest nation in the history of the world.
Here is my challenge to you: the next time you feel yourself getting bogged down in your thinking, or even start to feel sorry for yourself, just stop and count your blessings, as the song says, “name them one by one” and see what God has done. If you will do this on a regular basis, I can promise you it will make a difference in how you see yourself and your future. I care for others and I hope you do, too.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)