Our Shifting Views

Often times we adopt specific views on issues, ideas, and expectations in our lives, and we do not want to allow those views  to change. In some areas, such as politics, we have a negative impression of people who say their views change. We hold politicians to strict standards where they are expected to maintain the same views on all issues throughout their career.  Colin Wright, in his book Considerations, has a different idea regarding our views, “Views are temporal things, shaped by the exact perspective from which we perceive the world; a perspective that shifts every moment.


I really enjoy the way that Wright creates a distinction between our views and our perspective. Our background, experiences, underlying beliefs both conscious and unconscious, our socioeconomic status and so many other factors influence our perspectives.  When we do not know much about a particular topic or issue we are likely to have a very peripheral perspective and when we have studied in depth or felt the direct experiences of an issue or topic we will have a far more profound perspective.  It is from our unique perspectives that we interpret the world, and it is from our perspective that we develop our specific views on the events, thoughts, and beliefs that shape our world.


As we age, learn more, and gain new experiences our perspective on the world will naturally shift. By looking at our views through the perspective model that Wright explains, there is no way that our views can remain the same as our perspectives shift.  We may maintain very similar views, but out of the necessity, or views should adapt and differentiate. I enjoy bringing this back to politics because it is an area where the we should see individuals’ perspectives and views on constantly change and evolve, yet we do not allow politicians to shift their views.  It is impossible to elect a politician and expect that once they are on the job, studying issues and learning from research, that their views will remain unchanged. Throughout science as we grow and learn our views change, and this mindset should be applied to our personal lives, what we expect from our government, and the ways we approach other people.

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