What is your vision for Selma?

Published 6:03pm Wednesday, February 27, 2013

By Dr. David Jackson

A regular contributor to the Selma Times-Journal


Have you ever wondered why two people can look at the same thing and see something different, or analyze the same data and draw different conclusions? How about a new coach who takes over a team that has a losing record and begins to win?

Some experts attribute the difference to skill. There is no doubt that skill plays a role.

However, I believe the number one reason is the lens or perspective that individuals use to view different situations. The dictionary defines perspective as, “the capacity to view things in their true relationship or relative importance.” In other words, it’s the ability to see the “big picture” and how individual events contribute to the overall picture.

To illustrate, if you have ever ordered prescription glasses, the doctor determines your correct prescription by alternating different lenses that move your sight from completely out of focus to near-perfect vision. In many cases the final lens adjustments enable you to see things more clearly.

The same concept can apply to life circumstances with the understanding that each day we have the opportunity to choose what lens we are going to use to view the day.

Some individuals don’t realize that the lenses they are wearing don’t belong to them and are preventing them from living a full life. So the first step in lens adjustment is to understand it’s possible that current lenses you are wearing could be giving you the wrong perspective.

Second, you have to determine who gave you your lenses, (i.e., parents, teachers, experiences) and is the perspective still relevant.

Third, determine what experiences you are missing with your current views.

Last, get fitted with a fresh new set of lenses.

This is a difficult but necessary step for some and you might have to seek help from a professional with a broader perspective.

Many individuals refuse to change lens even though their current vision is severely limited; their response is, I can still see a few items.

However, the better your lens, the broader your perspective becomes and the better you become. Helen Keller, American author and humanitarian, said, “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.”

If you change your lenses and perspective, what opportunities will open up for you in Selma? How will your life change? How will you change someone else’s life?

  • Mel

    Long overdue for some economic and development changes in Selma. New eyes, new lenses, and new mindsets needed.

    • pops

      That will never happen without “old money” and you’re right back where you are now. There has been such a “debt drag” placed on the city over the past four years, I don’t see major changes for the near future. I am really amazed the city’s credit rating hasn’t been downgraded. pops

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