Sunday, April 28, 2013

I See... the Barbie Doll Perspective


One Sunday morning, as sacrament meeting launched, I sat in my traditional pew towards the back and began my armchair psychoanalyzing of the families settled in in front of me. I found mild entertainment in letting my mind wander throughout the congregation and making ill-informed, snap judgments from my poor perspective.

Then I saw it.  A few pews in front of me sat our ward YW president playing with a Barbie doll!  I couldn’t believe it! I thought to myself, hmmm…. I know that I am fairly old to be a YM president approaching the end of my early 50’s, and our YW president is probably young enough to be my adult daughter, but is she really that young? Young enough to play with Barbie dolls during church? Doesn’t she know that others may be watching her?  Does she even care? What will all the other young women think?  I was stunned.

After being mesmerized by this fascinating drama playing out right in front of me for a few more minutes, I witnessed her casually turn to one side to help one of her children with a quiet toy. It was only then I noticed, from a much different angle now, that she actually held another preschool daughter hidden in her lap who was quietly playing with… a Barbie doll!  It was the same Barbie doll I had mentally accused our YW president of playing with. 

This episode prompted me to think deeper than usual during the rest of sacrament meeting about the importance of perspective. When we view situations from the wrong perspective, we are much more likely to draw faulty conclusions. Maintaining a partial Barbie doll perspective will certainly lead us down paths of jaded judgment strewn with incomplete information and littered with lies.  All I needed to do is wait a few minutes to know who was really holding Barbie. Achieving true perspective of the whole story may require only a little patience and faith. 

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