Monday, March 21, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

The other day I was reading an article about Russell Brand in Elle Magazine. The interviewer details a visit to Brand's office, describing the movies, photos, and posters in his space and noting the presence of a life-size cutout of Homer Simpson. I thought this was funny, but Brand's comment about the cutout was thought-provoking: "It's been in the room less than 24 hours, so don't let it dominate your perspective."

We bring lots of things into our "spaces"—and not just our offices or homes, but our interior spaces, too. Some of these things (relationships, feelings, attitudes) fit and make sense and really represent who we are. Some of them...not so much. Some would take years to "dominate your perspective" while others could take over after a few minutes or hours.

This week I'm thinking about sharing space, and wondering if everything around me fits with who I am. I'm considering whether certain attitudes or relationships dominate, and if so, do they give people the right idea about who I am? Or am I giving too much real estate to things that don't really belong?

What do you think? Do YOU have a life-size cutout of Homer Simpson (or something else that might dominate people's perspective)? What do you do to surround yourself with people, relationships, and attitudes that "fit" with who you are?

3 comments:

  1. Love this post. I go so many directions with it:

    1. Russell may decide next week to get rid of Homer. "...don't let it dominate your perspective." Thus, we have the opportunity to flow with what we desire to occupy our space.

    2. Space as metaphor. Interior space, as you so aptly call it. I think our interior spaces, sometimes even more than our exterior spaces, are hard to keep "current". Example: My dining room table/chairs, inherited from my grandmother, is practically a safety hazard; I've held on to it too long. What's this really about? Not my external space... I want a new table. No, this is my internal space. I'm not shifting internally, not letting go so I can move into the present. So this object is dominating my space tremendously right now - and in a very conflicted way. I ate special meals and played games at this table with this woman who raised me, and now it's cracked, wonky, and dangerous. That's jarring.

    3. Self-knowledge. I bet I have a few Homer Simpsons that I DON'T EVEN NOTICE but everyone else is painfully aware of. They won't go anywhere until I'm aware of them. Facebook is WONDERFUL for this.... a big giant guru of a mirror, where you see hundreds of people interacting with a Homer you didn't even know you put out there. It happens in the real world too, but I don't think quite so clearly because we have to save face and act "cool". Nobody sees us react to Facebook.

    4. Maybe some things fit who you are right now, some fit who you were 5 years ago, and some will fit parts of you that are more permanent (I use that word loosely). I think a great word to use is "serve" - do these things serve you and enable you to be a better person for the rest of the world? Do my Homers add to the world or detract from it? Do I know the answer to that, or do the observers? We just have to know ourselves SO deeply, and this is a continual process.

    In the end, though, it's all just stuff and we can all just observe it, really. In which case Homer doesn't differ from the Hope Diamond a whole lot.

    My favorite quote in the world is rather Zen. "Is that so?"

    Of course, I could have put a big old Homer out in this whole post and been completely off the mark with what you meant. Either way, you totally made me think, which is what I love about you.

    One man's Homer.... ;-)

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  2. P.S. Do they give YOU the right idea about who you are? :-)

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  3. Wow, you DID go in many directions! I found that little comment of his so interesting because of that.

    My initial thought was just literal: he felt that people would form an opinion of him based on the presence of that object. He felt that it hadn't been there long enough to warrant a judgment, which made me wonder about all of the other little and seemingly insignificant things around us by which others judge us. And which of those things, by taking up space AND through identification with us, begin to influence us and who we are. Of course we absolutely have the freedom to take or leave all of those things. It's interesting to think about! I'm glad you thought so, too!

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