Because I say so is it true or is it true because you say so?Cindy
I see grey skies but you see blue.
Which is true?
Perhaps it’s the window I’m looking through.Cindy
When Yvette asked me if I would be a contributing author in her book THIS IS HOW WE GROW, I was elated and eager to participate and as much as I tried see my way to adding some of my poetry or a story, I was still in the midst of finishing up my book, Re-Create & Celebrate and I knew I couldn’t give it the energy it deserved.
The 13 Authors that did participate however, did a superb job through story, words, poems, experiences and honest accounts of events that have shaped their own perspective in their lives. I commend each writer on their well written pieces bringing life and light to this subject.
Congratulations to the following Authors!
First off, I have to give a special appreciation to Yvette Prior, Contributing Editor who sphere-headed this project and for the LARGE PRINT of this book, which made it easy to read and digest for these aging eyes. I love it, Yvette! Brilliant! More books should use this font size IMHO.
Her dedication at the beginning of her book is in memory of Paul Edgar Prior, her father in law for his ability to change and shift perspective and grow in later years, which as we know, can be quite challenging for most aging adults.
With 6 books under her belt and now her 7th, and also Poetry Treasures: 3 Passions, Yvette Prior continues to grow and expand and always has a lending ear or hand to help others grow so her new book, THIS IS HOW WE GROW, is very fitting.
Book Mini Intro:
Stories have allowed human to transmit ideas, beliefs, and behaviors throughout history. The underlying premise of this book is that we can enhance growth and develop empathy by understanding the perspective of someone else.
Perspective refers to how we see and think about something as well as what we choose to focus on. Our perspective, or viewpoint, is impacted by mental filters, which infuse and sieve how we make sense of the world. There is a gap between what is and what we know or think something is. Learning about how others see the world can help us fill that gap and possibly expand our ability to empathize.
ABOUT YVETTE PRIOR
Yvette Prior is the author of numerous books and she is a contributing author in two anthologies. After earning a PhD in Industrial & Organizational Psychology, she poured into waiting book projects and has not stopped writing since.
Her past work experience has included teaching art, counseling, hospitality management, and doing outreach. She currently works as a university professor and conducts research. Yvette finds refreshment from yoga, exploring the arts, and spending time with her spouse, Chrism and their three adult children and two step-grandchildren.
Perspective Taking (from the book’s intro)
- Perspective-taking is a crucial part of ongoing personal development because it augments life experience with other types of learning.
- Humans can grow when they take the time to explore perspective-taking, which can be done through hearing stories, reading essays and prose, or watching shows that allow sharing of cross-cultural experiences.
- Perspective-taking can help humans develop compassion and concern for others because it can introduce them to diverse viewpoints and take them away from only their personal experiences.
It is not a guarantee that perspective-taking, like reading the stories and poems in this book, will enhance outlook or augment empathy, but making time to explore someone else’s story can open the door to deeper understanding and healthier connecting.
I was drawn in right away by her discussion on perspective and how we might see something at face value and never truly look behind the scenes or have the ability to look through someone else’s lens.
I was having a discussion with my Dad at the time about when he sat down to dinner with a new group at his retirement center. He looked at the man across from him to say hello and the man said in what my dad perceived as a snarly voice, “what are you staring at?” My dad was taken back and didn’t say anything but as we talked further I said “Dad, maybe you should have told him you have macular degeneration and glaucoma and can’t see”. I’m not sure what was going on with the man or if it would have made any difference at all, but certainly he has a story as well. We’ll never know what he was experiencing. Maybe he was deaf or felt intimidated, who knows.
This was a prime example of how each story posed in the book takes you on an inner journey of each writers own perspective and hearing their individual stories they have to impart. How often do we make judgements about things and don’t have any idea whether they are true or not. We judge a book by it’s cover far too often and assumptions color reality and truth unless we dig deeper.
Speaking of covers, the cover design of this book is a Yucca Cactus I believe and beautifully illustrates the many arms of our lives on our journey.
The variety of the subjects were relatable and easy to identify with and I could see the times I have held something as truth when in fact, I had only seen my side of the story.
I loved hearing deeper stories from our blogging friends and empathized with the trials and tribulations they had each gone through in their own life that brought it home for me. I found myself nodding, taking notes or highlighting points of perspective.
Each author brought depth and meaning to their stories and I was able to extrapolate meaning and deep understanding from each one that made me stop to look at how I normally might interpret something and see if there was a way to put myself in another’s shoes to go beyond the surface.
Messages from nature, people on different walks of life, humorous stories, sad and painful, worrisome, atrocities of injustice, writers block that most of us have encountered at one point in our lives, aging and care giving, not fitting the mold of societal norms, lack of self care, challenges of deception, blogging and the depth and richness it brings all rang through on the page and made me do a self check.
And finally the age old question of what is right and what is wrong and how we can dispel myths and live beyond the surface of defending our position but rather see the soles of the shoes of our perpetrator if just for a moment and see how we might find compassion, love, care of our soul first and then walk a mile in their shoes before responding or judging. It’s not easy to do. The job of the mind is to judge and analyze so it is a particularly challenging exercise to put yourself through.
It just so happened when I was finishing up my review I got several texts from my nephew. They started out with normal questions that suddenly turned accusatory begging to pull at my heartstrings, trying to make me feel guilty which got under my skin and I felt angry and annoyed.
The first 3, I just ignored. Then I had the mind to block him as I have many times before, if he continued these comments.
As much as this was an annoyance and I don’t have much bandwidth at the moment (can you tell) ? Hahahaha as I’m trying to focus on self care and get well, I stopped and put myself in his shoes, living on the street with his mom as a 35 year old adult. At one point 15 years ago for a temporary time while they got housing figured out would be understandable but not after all of this time of continuing to be in the exact same place as they were when they started. It makes my blood boil, if the truth be told and more over is truly painful and sad.
It must be so humiliating to have never given the tools to make a better life for himself or have the opportunity to work to give him self satisfaction instead of blaming everyone around him, for what he doesn’t have. To be put in the position to have to care for your mother who had every capability to work and set an example so her son could make a life for himself was never a possibility. Instead, he was told it was his job to take care of his mother.
Suddenly, I felt waves of compassion wash over me for the life he has had to endure and how challenging it must be to navigate the world from such limitation, longing, and such sadness, none of which was his fault. Something in me softened and I just sent him love. There was no need to do anything else at that moment. Nothing I could say would make up for the loss and pain in his heart and I really needed to release this so I could continue healing from Covid.
Sometimes, just awareness is enough to change perspective and hoping the waves of peace might somehow touch a cord inside someone’s spirit to tune in to greater possibilities. Maybe not but at least I felt better for having gone through the exercise and taken the high road.
Congratulations to you Yvette and all of the authors for sharing your stories and perspective to help open our eyes to continued growth on our journey’s for everyone else’s sake.
You will find many nuggets to relate to as you read each story. Each is unique, thoughtful, offers hope, resilience and an opportunity to find your best selves and even the possibility of healing past parts of yourself.
A wonderful reference book to refer to and a real opportunity to continue to see others wherever they are on their journey.
Yes, THIS IS HOW WE GROW, moment to moment, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, bridging a better way to communicate and find silver linings as Yvette talks about each and every day!
This Is How We Grow is available on Amazon & Kindle – here
Congratulations again to Yvette Prior and the authors for a meaningful book. I hope you enjoyed my review and it gives you food for thought and it inspires you to read it and share your perspective as well.
Copyright © 2023 Cindy Georgakas
All Rights Reserved