Adjusting Your Lens
So now we have some framing basics. By no means can framing be summed up in three little articles, but in that, there’s a beginning foundation from which to build our persuasion arsenals.
Now that we have frames in mind, it’s time to examine our lenses. When you wear glasses, you don’t walk around with just the frames on, you have lenses that fit your particular prescription.
Some lenses are distorted. The frame an alcoholic or drug addict has is: how can I get more of what I’m addicted to? The lens they’re looking through is highly distorted and fraught with denial.
Are all of our specific issues lenses? If these issues are strong enough to warp and distort reality, then I’d say, yes. My whole life I was using a really strong lens when it came to food. I’d think about my next meal as I was eating. My blood sugar was so out of whack that I craved more and more sugar or simple carbohydrates after finishing and filling up on an entire meal. The lens I was looking through was overpoweringly focused on unhealthy foods and fear of scarcity. But by adjusting this view, things have changed dramatically.
On the opposite end of things, consider an anorexic who looks in the mirror and sees themselves as fat when they actually have little or no body fat whatsoever. Distortion.
Some social issues can also be thought of as lenses. I read about a summer camp in Northern California where the campers would go to the camp to ‘unlearn’ issues of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism. The presupposition of the facilitators of the camp was that if we grew up in the US, we’ve all been indoctrinated into a racist, sexist society, either subtly or overtly and the only way social change and equality can be achieved is to examine the lenses we’ve been looking through to view the world.
Now, whether or not you believe this, it’s a very strong frame and by ‘unlearning’ these ‘isms’, they believed the distortion of the lens is lessened.
What are some other distortions that prevent us from seeing the real picture? How about religious fanaticism? How scratched, cracked and myopic is a suicide bomber’s lens on the world? VERY. Their views go WAY beyond framing.
As I mentioned before, addicts have distortions, as do violent criminals, people with mental illnesses, the Klan/Aryan brotherhood. . .they’re extreme and often view the world literally in terms of ‘black and white’.
What are your extremes? Where do you find your lens distorted? One of the first steps in persuasion excellence is the ability to persuade yourself. I’m not suggesting that we eliminate everything about ourselves that make us who we are, not by any stretch, but I’m just looking to examine where we might have some blockages and/or weaknesses and/or blind spots in relation to ourselves and our outlook on the world. Remember, for all of our beliefs, there’s an equally strong opposing belief in someone else.
I’ll tell you a little secret. My lens is powerfully, intensely, vigorously focused on persuasion. Some might think to the extreme. Okay, maybe that’s not a secret. But it’s definitely my lens to the world and I’m thrilled to share it with you.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland