A Different Perspective

Perspective…the way we see things and our attitude about something. It’s an interesting idea to think about. We all tend to have unique perspectives based on personal experiences. One’s perspective has the potential to be created, shaped or even changed depending on the situation. For instance, when someone is introduced to something new, they initially form their own, unique perspective about a person, place, thing or idea. Alternatively, something may change one’s perspective entirely because of a significant finding or realization. Between creation and alteration we have the shaping of a perspective. This happens when you have a preconceived notion that is being supplemented by new people, places, things or ideas. Last week I had the opportunity to sit on a different side of the table during the Environment for the Americas (EFTA) training in San Diego, California, which gave me a different perspective, subsequently strengthening my existing one.

As a returning EFTA “alumnus” I was able to experience this training in a new light. I was able to see the fresh faces coming in, enthusiastic, yet slightly shy and reserved. I observed a group of passionate individuals with a common goal and similar struggles working together to solve problems and sharing their passion for birds and nature. I watched as the group of introverts gradually opened up to become great friends. It made me reflect to when I was in their shoes and just how powerful of an experience this was for me. During my first internship I found it oddly convivial how I managed to click with so many people all at once. I mean, during college I was surrounded by like-minded individuals, right? Not quite! What I came to realize is that the group of individuals selected for this internship not only a strong affinity for wildlife, but also for environmental education and minority representation….making for a passionate group of people doing things for the RIGHT reasons!

We seek experiences to gain perspective and each experience has the potential to create, shape or change our outlook. This experience allowed me to reflect on just how influential this experience was for me and to watch as the interns grew throughout the training. I was able to share some of the experiences I had had during this internship and to give some insight and helpful tidbits that I learned along the way. I am excited to hear about the work that all the 2018 interns will accomplish during their internship! I look forward to another season with EFTA and the BLM, and thank Sue and the EFTA staff for all they do and have done!

It is important to stay open-minded, be willing to change your mind, and be wrong once in a while. From the wise words of Nelson Mandela and reiterated by Ricky Martinez (2018 EFTA intern)….”You never lose, you win ….or you learn.”

Just MY perspective 🙂

Alexander Mullins
[email protected]
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