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Perspectives

I’m 5′ nothing, but I’ve never felt short.  In fact, I’ve always felt rather nimble and compact.  I like being my size.  It’s perfect for me.  My husband on the other hand, is 6′ 2″.  He is also comfortable with his height – it suits him.

A few years ago now, he grabbed the video camera (it was usually me behind the lens) and did an impromptu taping of my Mum, sister and me (among whom I’m the “tallest”) goofing around one Christmas in the kitchen.  He slowly walked into the kitchen, panned across the top of the fridge and cupboards, then angled down to capture our silliness.  As I reviewed the footage of the evening, I gasped in amazement at the short clip.  I’d never seen the top of the fridge or viewed the cupboards from that angle.  When the camera angled down over the tops of our heads and we all looked up at him – way up – it seemed so strange.  We looked different.  I was struck immediately by this amazing glimpse into a world I had never imagined. It was all laid out and happening beneath him.   What a place it was – the room was familiar and yet so different. Even the people seemed different too; smaller and more vulnerable somehow.   I felt rather large and grandiose from that angle, more in control with almost a feeling of power, arrogance…and that was from 5 minutes of footage.   I looked over at him in amazement and said, “Is this how you perceive the world all the time?”  He looked surprised and said, “Yes, don’t you?”

He goes through a world slightly small for him.  Everything is in easy reach.  Most people look up to him.  I realized that although we see and hear the same things, we experience the world through such a slightly different lens  and  it interacts with us differently.  How could this not affect us?  We have often talked about this eye-opening glimpse into each other’s world in numerous conversations over the years.  I have an appreciation of how the world appears to him and vice versa.  In this context, some things make more sense to each of us.  It takes a bit of effort, but it is possible to see the world as someone else does, but first you have to be aware of that difference, even if it is sometimes a bit more subtle than the height difference between my husband and I.

To say that harassment doesn’t happen because you don’t see it is not being skeptical.  It is being oblivious.

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