What on Earth is Perspective Transformation?

And what does it have to do with aging??

Quite simply – according to Kate McKenzie anyway! – perspective transformation is putting on a new pair of glasses and “seeing” something in a different way. And how we “see” aging makes all the difference!

Children sunglasses, sun shades or spectacles isolated on whiteGetting a bit more “technical” now…in grad school – not so very long ago! – I became aware of the late Jack Mezirow’s theory of perspective transformation. And I loved it! Paraphrasing Mezirow, a sociologist and Emeritus Professor at Columbia University, perspective transformation is a conscious recognition of the difference between an old viewpoint and a new one…and “seeing” the newer perspective as being of more value. Voila! Rather than seeing aging as a sad state of affairs we can see aging as a God-given opportunity to learn, grow, and do more with our lives.

Our perspective – like a pair of glasses – affects the way we see everything in life….not just aging. If you think about it, every day – consciously and unconsciously – we all engage in “meaning-making.” We assign meaning to everything that happens in our lives. To a large extent that assigned meaning determines the quality of our lives. We “see” things as good or bad, positive or negative, worthwhile or worthless, happy or sad, fun or boring, important or unimportant. Need I go on?

In 1978 when Jack Mezirow wrote about perspective transformation, I am quite sure he didn’t have perspectives on aging in mind. Well, I do!

How about we all try on a brand new pair of glasses and see getting older as an amazing adventure that we will experience together on this life journey?

Please say you will!

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