Angles of Our Own Selves

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: For this week’s challenge, photograph a person, or a piece of fruit, or a toy — any stationary object — and experiment by photographing it from different angles. While there is no minimum I challenge you to choose three of your favorite shots and post them in a gallery on your blog.

A radical change in perspective is never easy. Altering that already instinctive angle – be it broad or narrow – from which we regard life is a challenge, to say the least. As a person with somewhat twisted values and ideas in certain respects, yet who is so stubborn that she hardly ever changes her opinions, I am also aware of the ineffable necessity of never forgetting to keep an open mind, especially when having to reach various conclusions. That’s why I normally perceive the idea of changing my perspective as a positive endeavour.

And yet… What about those individuals who narrow down their perception of the world to only a handful of selfish, misogynistic, bigot, anger infused notions? I’ve seen it happen to various people, the aforementioned disease manifesting itself in a variety of stages. I’m not talking about those bad moments/days we all have, when we open our mouth without thinking and utter things that we never thought ourselves capable of saying. I’m referring to those extreme modifications in long-term behaviour which make a person unrecognizable. When somebody close to you undergoes such a metamorphosis, when a person you used to admire becomes the opposite of who they used to be in a couple of years, you can only hope the process is reversible, although deep inside you know that’s not the case.

A man who once used to perceive women as goddesses worthy of male adoration now smiles cruelly whenever he hears another piece of news about a woman beaten to death. A man who was good friends with many gays now spews out homophobic propaganda whenever he gets the chance. A man for whom money was never important now hates everybody who is wealthier than him and he despises those who have less. A man who used to cry when hearing about the unknown victims of war or of natural cataclysms now bellows his hatred of anyone who isn’t exactly like him, in every way possible. A man who used to love experiencing and discovering new things now has a vivid disapproval of everyone who opens a book, sees a new place or wishes to grow in any possible way.

Their angle has changed. You can perceive their frustration with their own failure and mortality in every sentence they utter. But your angle will unavoidably change as well – the same way their view on life has changed, your perception of such a person cannot remain the same. That is no longer a person you can admire, just as you are no longer a person they appreciate, since in their eyes you have in many respects become the enemy. Sooner or later, you have to accept it. Sooner or later, they will verbalize it – initially not in so many words, initially in a conversation with someone else, but the moment when you hear those exact words is just around the corner. So you are forced into seeing them from a different angle, whether you like it or not.

I dread the possibility of something like that happening to me, the likelihood of having life narrow my ‘angle’ in such a manner. I dread the moment I might no longer want to learn anything new. I dread the moment I can no longer fight in order to remain the person I know myself to be. That is one angle I never want to experience.


13 Replies to “Angles of Our Own Selves”

    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I really love “Angles”. It actually eased some of the pain of experiencing a lot of losses (one: a 30 year marriage where I experienced what you said about each person changing). Even though I chose to leave- the journey out has been a living hell- unlike the glorious flight to freedom I had planned, mapped and expected. I also like your weekly challenges and photos. I am inspired by your works! Sierra

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      1. Hi, Sierra. It’s funny how we generally imagine ourselves getting out of failed relationships in a very elegant, dignified fashion. In real life, we mainly crawl and claw our way out of such situation. In the end, all that matters is that we managed to extricate ourselves from that vicious circle, our sanity intact… hopefully. I admire you for having had the courage to do it.

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        1. Ana, your words ring true. Thank you. I am now in a place I don’t want to be. A different prison. Your response has encouraged and authenticated my continuous quest for peach and to live authentically. Many thanks! Sierra

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  1. I am glad that it sometimes works the opposite way too–in which someone opens his or her heart to others and the universe, like the grandmother who has a gay grandchild and understands for the first time that gays are real people who live and love and go about their lives, just like everyone else. A very interesting interpretation of the theme. Thanks for sharing, Ana.

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  2. What a well-written post and I love how you expanded beyond the photo challenge to develop a philosophical discussion. I’m have been reading “The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living” by His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Psychiatrist Howard C. Cutler. The Dalai Lama mentioned the importance of a wide perspective and seeing a problem and ourselves from a variety of angles or viewpoints. I have written a few points about it here: xx Rowena

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