Why Sharing Your Perspective Is Important

I’m currently reading Dreams from My Father, the memoir by former President Barack Obama. It’s the story of his life, far before entering a career in politics. To give context, in the 10th anniversary edition, he’s writes a preface that discusses how he was just elected to the U.S. Senate.

This all makes me think, we can’t possibly have any clue how the work we are doing now will impact the lives of people today or in the future.

If Obama had never become President, I probably (certainly) would have never read this book. Many millions of people that have bought copies wouldn’t have either.

Young Barack Obama, fresh out of Harvard Law, decided to take a publishing deal and write an analysis of race in America. That quickly turned into an early memoir, one that documents his experiences growing up and trying to find his way.

This piece of literature is worth something because he became someone. But, if he hadn’t written it when he did, it’d be colored in the darkness of U.S. foreign relations or domestic school and police shootings. It may start with the 2008 financial meltdown, not the phone call he received to alert him that his father was dead.

The inflection points in our lives, in our stories, change over time. As we collect more experiences (Obama having collected many more than most of us), our perspectives will change. The stories themselves might even change. The meaning we assign to them will be sure to.

This book is a gift to me, and to countless others, who are intrigued by the inner workings of a young President, far before he knew he could become one.

I write this to remind you that your perspective is important now. The perspective you have today, about the world and about your life, is surely wrong. It’ll surely change. If you live another couple decades, the most profound moments in your life are probably still ahead of you.

But that shouldn’t discount what you see now.

What you see now is valuable.

More than you could ever project.

Kate Ward