Op-Eds Opinion

It’s All About Perspective

I have a confession to make. I am guilty of a student-on-student crime, one that I have committed multiple times over the course of my college career.

Joe Brown
Editor in Chief

 

 

 

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

I have a confession to make. I am guilty of a student-on-student crime, one that I have committed multiple times over the course of my college career.

For anyone who knows me, this might come as a surprise. I am a relatively mild-mannered reporter, not much different from Clark Kent (well, except for the whole Superman thing). Much like other students on campus, I hold doors open for others, smile as I pass people by and try to be respectful in the classroom.

Put me behind the wheel of a car on Alden Street, however, and my persona changes, making me nearly unrecognizable.

I despise driving on the street that intersects the middle of our campus. I feel like I’m flirting with disaster every time I pull out of the Senior Suites and begin my trek past Locklin Hall.

I consider myself a solid driver with a clean record. I slow down and stop at crosswalks to allow people to cross. It does not even frustrate me if people walk across the crosswalk at a leisurely pace. The problem is not the crosswalks. It is everything else.

People cross the street as if the entire campus is one giant crosswalk. Now, I understand that students have the right of way on a campus, but a little common sense would be nice. I have witnessed people with their heads in their phones nearly walk into my car. Let me repeat that. They have nearly walked into my car. Not the other way around.

This situation has become such a common occurrence that I find myself experiencing what could be described as nothing short of road rage.

My mild-mannered demeanor shifts into full-out Hulk mode as I seethe and mumble under my breath at the students ignorantly strolling in front of my moving vehicle.

My crime is simple. I am a hypocrite. When the roles reverse, I have been guilty of the exact same thing. I don’t always wait to cross until I am at a crosswalk. I walk across the street in front of other cars with their own drivers, who I bet are just as frustrated as I am behind the wheel.

What it all comes down to is perspective. I have a completely different view of the situation when I am driving than when I am the one crossing the street.

This simple example raised a more important question in my mind.

What if we all had a little more perspective?

If we recognized our own perspective, and then actively explored and considered the perspectives of others, I believe the world would be a better place. Even the most basic example such as driving versus crossing the street could be handled more effectively with an ounce of perspective added to the equation.

Just imagine how perspective could be applied to address a larger issue, such as promoting diversity on campus.

It is no secret that Springfield College is a predominantly white campus. Many of its occupants are also heterosexual. The way we as a college have reacted to diversity in the past, such as the Cheney Hall Incident (see scstudentmedia.com for last semester’s story) could have been handled with much more grace had we all taken the time to view other people’s perspectives.

When it comes down to it, a big part of how we make decisions is all about perspective. If we only value our own, then we will not only offend, but possibly alienate people too. Valuing everyone’s perspective, on the other hand, can only lead to positive results.

For starters, I guess that means no more road rage for me.

Everyone crossing Alden Street will have one less angry driver to worry about from now on.

Besides, the Hulk-mode never fit me well anyway.

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