Angles Of Our Own Selves

Note: Not only did Ann-Christine’s topic for this week (Lens Artists Weekly Challenge – Angles) push me to write a new post, but it also reminded me of something I’ve posted a few years ago. Since it still resonates, I’ll share this once more. In case you’ve already read it, I apologize 🙂 .

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 gay persons 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.

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7 Replies to “Angles Of Our Own Selves”

  1. Your words shook me. I have never experienced a change as big as this in a person I know, but recognize pieces of it. And may this shift never happen to you or me – or any of us. I still believe in the importance of being able to see as many angles as possible, trying to understand, being able to take a step back and look at yourself. Is it really you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wrote this after spending a couple of weeks with that person and the change shook me as well. There were hints, but one could only perceive the full picture once they got very close. For me it was the second time I would witness something of the sort, and although I could understand what had triggered it, I still found it very difficult to handle.
      As you said… here’s to hoping we manage to avoid such circumstances.

      Like

  2. The photos went so well with your reflecting and the different angles
    — I recently ran into a few folks that we knew back in 2003ish
    It was nice to see these folks again after the years had passed and with maturity.
    And your line “who is wealthier than him and he despises those who have less” depicted them a bit – they value money and assists so much and folks who did not have “a certain amount” are deemed less worthy and as one of them complained about an d-in law they had – who did not measure up in that area – I saw the “trap”
    They were in – and they are plagued with health problems –
    And money can’t buy that for them . Hmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha 🙂 I love how you underlined the “trap”. I sometimes give in to my darker side – especially when caught in a certain mood – and willingly walk right into the trap just to rattle some people. But in the end, we are all entitled to our own opinions, whether others like them or not… It’s how we act on them that really makes a difference.

      Liked by 1 person

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