It’s all relative, isn’t it? I had this thought the other day as I sat waiting for Ellie to finish her piano lesson. My thoughts about about this didn’t come out of nowhere, quite the opposite.
If you put me in the room with someone anyone, even if I know they don’t speak English, I will attempt to strike up some sort of conversation. Is it just me or is it the curse of being a minister? I don’t know. I just know that I do it all the time without even thinking about it.
This week someone else was doing the carpooling for this particular family. Always enjoying a random and new conversation, I engaged her. As our conversation progressed, she shared how both her family and her husband’s family has stayed in Baltimore, living not too far from one another. She began sharing that she and her husband had a decent house with a yard. She went on about liking the amenities of city life. Her highlights included living so close to Washington DC and easy access to 95.
I shared a bit of our plight looking for a house and the choice we made to live in the city because we liked the diversity, culture, and walkability of the town. I also shared that both my husband and I couldn’t beat the commute. After a bit more talking and sharing, she continued chatting about sacrifices one makes when living in the city.
I agree there are some sacrifices, but my list was no where as long as her’s. She sacrificed the type and style of house she desired, her ideal lawn size, and a few other things to be closer to family. It wasn’t until I asked with my usual non-tact style, “Where do you live?” that I realized it is all a matter of perspective.
Everything is a matter of perspective right? And this was no difference. Now knowing where she lives, I would not use the word “decent” to describe the house. I am betting by my standards it is quite nice, real nice I would say. And the yard, probably isn’t the usual city yard.
In thinking more about this conversation and interaction, I am curious about her perspective. And became curious is my own reaction to her perspective. What life experience did we both have that made our perspectives so different? What are some of the building blocks that helped me create my perspective? How do my faith values contribute to this or put me in check?
When should I question my perspective? Do I have someone who I trust who will question it and stretch me?
These were the questions that began filling my head as I drove home from that piano lesson. This is why I like Baltimore and chose to live in the city—I like the difference in perspective.