Getting a new perspective

seeing life differently

Reading Time: 4 minutes

by Joni

Maybe it’s healthy to get out and about to get a new perspective on life. I’ve just had a week interstate hanging with the younger generation of early 30 somethings. Not only is their pace of life markedly different but their attitudes, values and wardrobe choices.

How many times did they say, ‘Oh, Mum!’ I’m not telling you. But suffice it to say that they found their old mum a bit conservative in the attitude and values departments and (less importantly) in the fashion department.

But here I am back with a new wardrobe and fresh insight into the younger generation’s priorities and lack of enthusiasm for life. Like Alice after her rabbit hole experience, I see life a bit differently. Admittedly, I didn’t meet the cast of characters Alice did, nor soar giant-like above them nor shrink to tiny proportions, but I was immersed in a new urban environment where everyone wears earphones.

Everyone but me seems to either listen to music or chat away in public for all to hear. On trams and trains, I had no option but to listen to stranger’s private conversations to an invisible second party. Maybe that’s why so many others plug in the music?

The youthful perspective

Another observation was that the young sadly do not share my breezy optimism that has carried me through life so far. Despite their superior musculature, they do not start out each morning with a spring in their step, marveling at the wonders of the sunshine and life. No, it was mum who was first up making tea and bustling about. The young and fit preferred to wallow in bed and bemoan life and the day, before even parting the curtains.

So, what is wrong with that, you may say. Life sucks, many say, even my children. But life viewed through my rose coloured glasses (now fitted with prescription lenses) is also wonderful. ‘Oh, no, Mum!’ they shriek. ‘There’s the climate, the wars, the racism, the gender divide and besides my boyfriend dumped me …’

It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess. They think mine is skewed and naive. I think theirs is dark and sad. After all, the world has always had its troubles, wars, Depressions and we are still here. I believe you have to make the most of your time on Earth and spread kindness. Change is one of the constants in life. But they don’t see it that way. It is my perspective not theirs.

The young love shopping

But back to my visit inter-state. Finally, each morning, when everyone surfaced, we set off for the city. Once launched, my daughter has endless energy for shopping for clothes she doesn’t need. Trapped for the week in her world, I succumbed, despite my inner reservations, and bought some new groovy clothes.

Afterwards, I regretted the purchases and thought fondly of my shabby chic decades-old fashions at home. I also pondered the landfill, the waste and child labour behind these new garments. Yes, I am concerned about the environment.

The source of information gives a different perspective.

Although my son lives in this city, he seemed ignorant of its history and some of the proposed changes to existing infrastructure. This surprised me. How come, I, an interstate visitor, knew more than he did? Where do the young source their information?

They don’t read papers or listen to the news or watch television. They don’t even own a radio or television. But they have five computers and about ten screens and more meters of wires and cables than floor space. Just as well we no longer have a rabbit, I thought. He loved to chew cables.

My children’s information comes totally from the internet and social media. Hence the sad view on life. These modes of information can over dramatize the perils of everyday life, bring tragedy and terror right into your living room, even bedroom if you google late into the night.

Less is more when it comes to coping with life

Less is more. Our minds can only cope with so much at a time otherwise we are permanently in the flight and fright mode of preparedness for disaster. Our wearied brain believes the bison may attack and ravage our camp at any minute.

No wonder they are all stressed and think they have ADHD, depression, borderline personality and bipolar disorders. The poor things are really just worn out from over stressing about life’s potential disasters.

My attempts to explain my mantra of ‘less is more’ met deaf ears. This is probably because these youngsters always have ear plugs in. There are no longer the tell-tale signs of little wires dangling from the ears to let me know they prefer to listen to music than me.

Alone in a rose coloured world

Now, these blessed ear plugs are wireless. So, I found myself chatting away to Mr. Nobody. I could not promote my ‘less is more’ in the clothes shops (where it most certainly was needed) nor later at mealtimes. My children would rather listen to Spotify music than motherly chatter. Perhaps that is the way of the world.

So, I was with them but really quite alone in my own rose coloured world of optimism. But I have a new perspective thanks to my week away. I prefer my world to theirs and vice versa. Each to his own. It’s good to experience the variety of lives, views and values that people hold and cherish. It’s good to walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes as the saying goes. It builds tolerance and understanding.

On the plane home I was keen to have a chat to the young woman next to me, but I spotted those white ear plugs and turned to the window instead. ‘My, those clouds are pretty. What a wonderful world!’ I said to myself.

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Joni Scott is an Australian author with three published novels: Whispers through Time and The Last Hotel and Colour Comes to Tangles. Joni also co-hosts a women’s blog; and has her own website;

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