What comes to mind when you think of the word perspective? Our perspective is ours; it's influenced by a number of things including our experiences, our position in life, and even our physical reality, and it is constantly evolving to some degree.
Recently, I had the opportunity to see a different perspective. I am currently participating in Leadership Lincoln, which is offered through the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. If you ever have an opportunity to participate in a leadership class, I highly recommend it! The commitment includes one full day per month in a classroom setting where we hear from speakers and submit evaluation forms, 4 homework assignments outside of class that requires attendance at City Hall meetings, and a class project that we complete together as a class using only items we are able to secure through in-kind donations. Our speakers vary, and we've covered a variety of topics including local government, education, and media, to name a few. In the month of March, we covered the topic of healthcare.
The speakers who we heard from during the healthcare class varied from representatives with Sutter, Kaiser, WellSpace Health, The Gathering Inn, and others, and the information we received was incredible. The most incredible experience in my opinion, however, was the dark lunch.
What is a "dark lunch" you may be wondering? It consisted of being blindfolded, finding our seats with a support cane used for the visually impaired, and eating a boxed lunch. Our lunches consisted of sandwiches, condiment packets, chips, a piece of fruit, and a water bottle. The most challenging part for me was trying to apply mayonnaise to a sandwich without getting it everywhere. We had only one napkin with which to try and stay clean. By the time I managed to get mayonnaise everywhere, my napkin was fully saturated. I gave up on the mayonnaise and ate my sandwich almost totally dry.
While we were eating, still blindfolded, we heard from an incredible woman who'd had her sight until she was in her mid 30's. She had two children to care for, and with her newly imposed disability, she knew she would have to find a way to remain an effective mother. In order to do this, she had to remain positive and make the best of her new reality. Hearing her story and how she adjusted was nothing short of amazing.
The speaker went on to explain the role of A Touch of Understanding, which is a non-profit organization. They play a pivotal role in helping others gain perspective of disabilities. They offer a variety of experiences including headphones that are used to help people understand what it's like to be autistic and experience constant sensory overload. Regretfully, we were not able to experience the headphones, but it was clear that the class was moved by the dark lunch as well as hearing about the way that people with disabilities are often treated inadvertently by people who are not afflicted with the same challenges.
After lunch, we removed our blindfolds. What I found incredible was the visible emotion displayed on the faces of the people around me. Having a child with Autism, I was moved to a quiet emotional display myself, but it was incredible to see that many of my classmates were as well. We gained valuable perspective from someone who had to adjust in order to maintain an incredible quality of life for herself and her family.
I am very grateful for the experience of the dark lunch, and was happy to learn that A Touch of Understanding takes that experience as well as others into classrooms, corporate offices, and other places where it's helpful for people to gain a different perspective. If you would like to learn more about A Touch of Understanding, you can visit their website HERE.
What types of experiences have contributed to your perspective? Have you ever experienced something similar that has contributed to your outlook on the world? I love hearing from you! I read each and every response I get, and would love the opportunity to get your thoughts on this. You can reply directly to this email, or shoot me a text at 916-871-8132.
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