Truth & Reality

A Parallax Community Post Submitted by Chris Grant on 2012/04/03 at 11:09 pm
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I agree with other readers of the parallax in that the author has created a very intriguing story and one that can bring goose bumps to your arms because of the reality. We all can connect to the setting because everyone remembers what they were doing on 9/11. It is very easy to connect to the personal struggles of the Beck family and even those struggles of those who attended the writing seminar. I felt as though I was a part of the family watching the tv in the cabin and also there at the seminar relating my personal experiences with the members at my table.  Seeing yourself with new understanding can take on many meanings but I believe that it is truly in regards to accepting truths and realties even if that decision is one of unpopular consequences.  Emotion can get the best of you and truth can be your immediate enemy because of negative perceived consequences. On the other side it is also your long term solution to peace and harmony. Sometimes it takes deep insight to realize that the truth is the correct path and this deep insight can sometimes only be brought out in therapeutic writing sessions. Writing for therapeutic purposes is like singing in the shower, it allows you to express yourself without the doubts of immediate harsh criticisms.

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92 thoughts on “Truth & Reality

  1. I agree completely with what Chris said above about how writing can really allow you to express yourself. My parents always encouraged me to keep a diary, which of course I never did, but even before reading “The Parallax” I had been considering actually starting a kind of diary for this exact reason. Sometimes it is difficult to get real and honest with ourselves, and writing provides a very easy route to accessing emotions, memories, thoughts, etc. that we might not be comfortable with otherwise. And by getting honest with ourselves like this, i.e. a way that we’ve never done before, we experience parallax and are able to view things in a new light. Furthermore, seeing things from a new perspective, self-effectiveness is able to improve. If we always look at our lives and daily situations from the exact same perspective every time, how can we expect to find different solutions to problems, or even more simply, to change ourselves for the better?

  2. After reading the Parallax I found myself in the same position as the others were after writing without stopping during the exercise with Dr. Stein. I had a lot of things in my subconscious I had not reflected on in quite some time. I think it is amazing to express yourself without stopping or correcting anything. It is something that needs to be done more often and something I now strive to accomplish. When I was younger I would write all the time, I wrote stories, I kept a diary, and I wrote letters to people. I have strayed away from this in recent years, but I realize now how I truly need to revert back to this, especially after looking at my experiences through a different perspective. While reading the story I did find my self looking into the story and not necessarily connecting with the story on the level I should have, but after finishing I realize now that the story is intended to make you think, to make you look through a new light, and to open doors you once shut to see the good in everything and to grow as a person, and that is exactly what I intend to do.

  3. Reading the Parallax was enjoyable. I had no idea what it would consist of but I was pleasantly surprised. The book leaves you asking a lot of questions about where the author is going with the story, even what’s going on in general. But then it ends with a very insightful and encouraging piece of information: that writing stories can help an individual attain mental, spiritual, and physical health. I am an avid writer myself (mostly journaling) but I had never considered this before…

  4. The Parallax engaged and inspired me to use therapeutic writing sessions to overcome many of issues that impact my life. I agree with Chris’ comment that it takes deep insight to realize that the truth is the correct path. There are many ways in which an individual can reach inside; I personally think therapeutic writing is one of the most powerful and successful ways to accomplish this. The title of this section (Truth & Reality) really made me think about the feelings I felt on September 11th, 2001. I was a confused 11 year old child that didn’t think there was any truth left in reality. I was not even in the US at the time. The days tragedy truly made every person in this world step back and think about what reality really consists of.

  5. The Parallax was definitely one of the more enlightening short stories I have read this year. For only being 106 pages, you definitely get the bang for your buck. While reading The Parallax, I noticed that behaviors and actions that both Frank and Sarah had were reminiscent of behaviors and actions I have had with relationships in my life. A key theme of The Parallax was self-analysis. Tackling one’s own problems is something we often seek to avoid. The Parallax says that this must be resolved for the relationship to “open up” just like the clouds disappearing over Long Peaks.

  6. Reading the Parallax had a rough start, as it just dove into story upon story, intertwined with another story. It wasn’t until the second portion of the book, that it had became clear that what I had been reading his expressive writing. At least that is how I interpreted the mash-up of stories filled with emotion and a shallow point. I agree that writing like this can be helpful for people, and exercises in creativity are greatly lacking in our daily lives. I feel that this book demonstrated a good idea, but had trouble connecting it to the reader.

  7. I have never been much of a writer and had never really though about how it can actually get to the truth of how and why you feel certain ways. Just plain writing is a way to allow your uncensored thoughts to become as clear as the words on the page. This allows you to keep a record of how you think unabridged, you cannot argue, rationalize, or ignore these thoughts as they are. The Paralax really shows how useful the insights that you can gain from this method of writing without restrictions can be.

  8. One of the main themes “The Parallax” tries to convey to its readers is the importance of free-writing daily. The stream-of-consciousness writing is not to achieve a specific goal or purpose, such as writing a short story, but writing for writing’s sake. This is because we can understand more about our self and our subconsciousness through the writing of whatever is on our mind. As the journaling of our emotions gives rise to the revelations of the truths held deep down in our hearts, we can “see our self with new understanding,” another major theme of “The Parallax.”

  9. The Parallax presents several situations with which we can all relate: recalling the events surrounding 9/11, relationship issues, regret over lost opportunities or wrong decisions. But the book dives a bit deeper than that. The metaphors presented provide a good opportunity for self-analysis and reflection. It’s important to prioritize your goals in life, to set yourself up to optimize your decisions. We obviously won’t always know every possible consequence of our choices, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work to minimize potential negative outcomes and maximize potential positive outcomes. The book provides the tools one needs for self-reflection to work toward improving life.

  10. Although it was a short book, the Parallax was a quick and great read, full of great lessons that I found to be very enlightening. I really enjoyed certain aspects of the Parallax, especially all the different stories that the characters offered up in the book. I also liked the great use of symbolism like the fireplace, hiking boots, and Aspen leaf. One thing that I could not figure out that I was wondering about was the fate of Katie. I liked how you had to get far into the book before you found out and the surprise metaphor kept you guessing. After reading this book, I will definitely consider writing and respect the therapeutic power of stories in regards to finding a new understanding of others and myself. I thank you for creating such a great piece that will help us develop personal effectiveness and emotional intelligence.

  11. In The Parallax we learn that communication and writing are excellent means to gain new insight and perspective. It teaches us that the same experiences can be perceived differently by people and that we can learn from each other while simultaneously nurturing relationships by effectively communicating with each other. If we become isolated and do not communicate, then we become limited by our own lack of perspective. After all, the truth exists independent of our ability to perceive it, so the less perspective we have, the less likely we are to know the truth.

  12. This book really struck a note with me. “See Yourself with New Understanding” is accomplished with this book. The story was very intriguing and kept me turning the page, not realizing until the end, that I was learning to become more emotionally intelligent. Writing helps you express your thoughts and feelings without being criticized. Through writing you can express and realize your emotions. In realizing and acknowledging your emotions, you can be more effective in managing those emotions.

  13. I agree with all that has been previously stated. Effective communication is key to building and maintaining any relationship. What I have learned from The Parallax is that we cannot burden ourselves with our past. We must embrace that the past is simply the past. Our pasts may be tarnished, but our futures are spotless. If we hide from our pasts then we are hiding from ourselves, and therefore are lying to ourselves. The Parallax teaches about being open and honest with people you love, and through that, self appreciation will come, as well as inner peace.

  14. After reading The Parallax, I have realized that there are several internal struggles that I am faced with. Throughout my life, I feel as though I have suppressed a lot of these internal struggles without thinking about what may happen or how I may feel if I were to connect with these struggles. I think that a lot of people are faced with this problem. We are scared to resurface prior events or feelings. The Parallax teaches readers to connect to their personal feelings/story to help see things differently to make changes for the better. I agree with what Chris said above that seeing yourself with new understanding can take on many meanings. It is these new meanings that can be used to make personal changes in life to provide a new line of sight for the future.

  15. The Parallax is full of metaphors and stories such that readers of all types and places in life can grasp and relate to something. The stories I most relate to are during the workshop portion of the book where Andrew and Carissa comment on how feeling powerless will limit and hinder your personal and professional effectiveness. Professionally, in the field of pharmacy, I must understand that drug therapy will not cure every patient or disease. For those patients that may make my knowledge and therapeutic abilities feel powerless, I must change my perspective and provide alternative support and care. Understanding that “treatment” looks differently when broadening your perspective will truly improve professional effectiveness.

  16. The Parallax is quite different than any book that I have read in the past. I believe that no two people who read this will take the exact same message away from it. Due to the various metaphors and personal stories throughout the book everyone will connect to it in a different way. My take home point from the Parallax was that everyone has done things in the past that they aren’t particularly proud of. Everyone also has unique fears and doubts about the future, some of them rational others not so much. The key is to address these fears to give you a better understanding of yourself and by doing so increasing your emotional intelligence. This will be a great asset in the future as showing empathy is a must for delivering patient-centered care. While writing isn’t the only way to change your perspective and gain a better understanding of yourself, I do feel that it can be a very effective route. After reading this story I think that I may try to keep a journal on a more regular basis.

  17. I too have realized that I have many ‘internal struggles’ that I am left to deal with on a daily basis. The Parallax stresses the importance of letting go of the past which has always been one of the hardest things for me to do. Letting go is not easy to do, but it must be done in order to have the best future possible. The part of the story that I thought to be the most important, however, was during the workshop when the people were trying to put themselves into other’s shoes. Point of view can change a story entirely and being able to understand what other people are going through is an important character trait to have.

  18. The Parallax was an inspiring story that emphasized how a change in prospective can lead to self-discovery. I think therapeutic writing is a perfect tool to help individuals identify and address personal issues that they may have ignored, subconsciously, for a long time. I have recently written lyrics to two songs (something I never would have imagined I would be able to do), and I have found it to be such an invigorating experience. Although the lyrics may not be very eloquent or catchy, it allowed me to examine some of my deepest emotions. In addition, I feel as though it is vital to undergo some sort of self-discovery in order to be able to truly connect with others on a personal level. One must understand oneself before one can understand another. I think this book also illustrated this point, as well, during the group discussion. It illustrated that we all have our own personal struggles, but we can find strength in ourselves by seeing the strength in others.

  19. Some of the metaphors from this book made me reflect on past and current events of my life. Events that I experience with relatives, but we all perceived them differently. I found very intriguing how people experiencing the same event on same location at same time can perceive a totally different experience (even opposite feelings towards the experience). I knew that looking at things from different perspectives help us to be less judgmental and more tolerant to other people; but after reading the parallax I realized that we can use these changes in perspective to improve our own lives. Analyzing life events from different points of view may help us to find peace with ourselves.

  20. After reading The Parallax, I have learned many things. It has made me realize that every single person in this world has gone through some sort of struggle in their life. I realize you can connect with other people’s stories and be able to reflect and learn certain things from them. I also have realized that you can learn things from your own struggle. In the reflection meeting, everyone wrote down their stories. By writinig down feelings, people were able to see things differently. Instead of just feeling bad about the situation, a lesson was learned. Some people wrote their own struggles, and others reflected on how it would feel to be in someone else’s shoes. The definition of the word parallax is very true to life today. If you personally change the way you see something, you will be able to see the situation in a different point of view.

  21. I finished reading The Parallax the evening before 9/11 and because of this I feel like the story really hit home. Every time 9/11 comes up in conversation, I feel like it leads to where you were when you heard the news and the reactions of everyone around you. I can relate to the feelings the Becks experienced. Personally, I was at school. Thoughts were racing through my head about where my parents and other family members were at the time, just as the Becks were concerned about the location of Katie. After finishing The Parallax, I realize how much writing my feelings/experiences out on paper could help clear my mind. With school and all of the stress that goes on around me, I sometimes find my mind racing. In the future, if I find that there is too much on my mind, I will try to write my feelings on paper so that my mind is clear and I can focus on the task at hand, such as studying.

  22. I find it extremely ironic to be posting on 9/11, but I remember this day 11 years ago as if it happened yesterday. The Parallax not only reminded me of how that fateful day affected me, but also how it affected everyone else around me. I thought I would be emotionally disconnected from the book, but I found myself getting frustrated and wanting to yell at Frank for being so opaque. As the story developed, I began to feel sympathetic to his plight as he struggled with his marriage. It was then, I realized, that I was experiencing THE parallax. I was putting myself into his perspective and seeing this in his viewpoint. This brought be back to the memories of 9/11 and how, although I did not know anybody personally in the attacks, I still shared in the sorrow of millions of Americans as they experienced the horrors of hatred. Even then, I experienced a parallax.

  23. Merriam Webster defines parallax as “the apparent displacement or the difference in apparent direction of an object as seen from two different points not on a straight line with the object.” This short story makes its readers do just that! Being able to see events from my past is definitely a difficult concept to wrap my head around, but it is also something that I could benefit from. Similar to the posters above I have experienced things that I did not necessarily perceive as positive experiences. However, looking at some of those events from a different perspective makes it possible to gain some positive insight. The tragic events of 9/11 haunt the memories of every American citizen, however there was some positive that came out of the event. At least to a degree it forced Americans to band together and defend our country in a way that many of us were unfamiliar with. Seeing the nation banded together in unity is a positive benefit that should not be ignored. It is most certainly a parallax when viewed against the horrors of that day eleven years ago today.

  24. Before reading The Parallax I had never read any type of self-help book or a book that expands the ability of a person to look within themselves for answers and guidance into how they will live their life. I believe this book changed my opinion immensely. I found myself relating to the characters in every sense, and also the struggles they were facing on a daily basis. Often times we just go through the motions of the day and do not take time to reflect upon significant events that occurred or more importantly, our feelings. I think the methods used by the characters in the short story such as attending self-help seminars and journaling aid the individual in discovering themselves and having a stronger sense of self. This short story is unique in the sense that every reader will relate to a particular event or feeling different than the next. For example, during the events of September 11th I was living in Moscow, Russia. The only connection I had to the United States was observing the events on the television. However, other events of the world were more significant to me, such as a hostage situation in a Moscow theater where several of my classmates attended dance. As stated above, perception is a vital part of this short story and how the story is received.

  25. I found the relationship between the characters personal struggles and the events of 9/11 to be very interesting and though provoking. The small battles he fought within himself for so long finally got shared due to the horrific large scale event of 9/11 so it was not only a memorable day personally for him but nationally as well. Having never read a self-help type of book I found it very interesting to see how each person’s inner struggles are very similar and relatable to many others. Each person had a different life story and perception of life (more specifically 9/11) but when they got to writing, many of stories were on the same level. As stated in the title, The Parallax, or to change is often brought on by a significant event such as 9/11.

  26. The Parallax enlightened me on how no matter what happens, something good can come out of it. I realized this when thinking about 9/11 and how it was such a catastrophe, but somehow our nation became united after then event. This unity has increased the morale throughout the country and has brought the entire nation together. So, this example shows how no matter what type of tragedy may occur, there is normally something good that occurs due to the event.

  27. One interesting theme that is noted is the human tendency to initially gravitate towards the thought of helplessness. This characteristic is countered by an interdependent movement by an individual with the assistance of another toward empowerment. Such empowerment is precipitated by a change in perspective this is noted in the title “The Parallax”. Multiple characters in the transition though emotions or to put it differently fall through different emotions because of the change in perspective. An initial defensiveness falls to helplessnees, which falls to anger as a visceral reaction to this state, this falls to an acceptance, which further falls to a state of empowerment. It is as if perspective must change with each fall going from a higher state to a lower state then to a new and higher level. This image may be evoked in the first story as climbing the mountain.

  28. I felt that The Parallax was a great reminder of the importance of every day. It often isn’t until we are faced with tragedy that we actually step back to evaluate the important things in our lives. We may take the ones we love for granted until tragedy reminds us that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. We shouldn’t dwell on the past and let mistakes define us, but rather make amends and live in the moment with our loved ones. Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective to make things clear.

  29. The Parallax was much different than the books that I am used to reading. I normally read fiction books that rarely do more than entertain. Many times when reading I pull out meanings from things that may or may not have been the intention of the author, but in this book I felt that there may have been a meaning that I couldn’t fully grasp. Unlike many of the other readers’ views, I believe that what I got out of the story was simply the need to see things from another person’s point of view and see the effect an event had on them rather than just the effect it had on you. I felt that this was an apparent point in the book but I’m not sure that I feel the connection with finding a change in myself other than just being aware of others’ feelings and emotions. I feel like there was another meaning that is supposed to be much deeper that I couldn’t full grasp but that is definitely there. Overall, I found the book to be delightfully informative and can see that writing as an outlet could potentially lead to an enlightenment of one’s self, but I may need to read the book again to fully understand everything that it has to offer.

  30. The Parallax reminded me of the days of journal writing in grade school. At the end of the day you would write a reflection of your day and what you learned. Writing this reflection made you think about the emotions you experienced in that day and allowed you to think about things you typically don’t even let your mind come across. After hearing the stories of the different characteristics, I was reminded of the reflection writing can give you. I agree that writing can be therapeutic and it can allow you to see yourself and develop a better understanding of who you are deep down.

  31. Upon reading this book, I had a small idea of what to expect. With the biased assumptions I did not expect this book to impact me in any way really. However, I was greatly surprised that this was not the case at all. It was a reminder of a day that shook not just me, my family, but an entire nation and subsequently the world. However, how it was seen and felt from different individuals can vary greatly as seen in the characters of this book. I suppose this is where the very fitting title of “The Parallax” came from after looking it up in the dictionary to make sure it was not a disease or something else. However, through seeing an event through another’s perspective it is possible to see how me can connect and become more unified through a tragic event. Because, of these lessons this was a book that I really enjoyed reading.

  32. When I started reading the parallax, I did not know what to expect from he book. After I began to read, I also felt connected with the characters in the book and the emotions that they were experiencing when they heard about the tragic events of 9/11. I think that using therapeutic writings as a means of getting out our emotions is something so simple but is often overlooked as we are too busy with many things going on throughout the day. By sitting and just writing about what you are feeling it allows you to put your emotions into words that you would not normally be able to do. It allows you not to keep the burden of having all the worries on your chest and be able to express them. It helps you not live with feelings of regret and helps you live a healthier life.

  33. September 11, 2001 has impacted everyone throughout the United States differently. Up until reading The Parallax, I never really contemplated how it impacted anybody else other than myself, and of course the people involved in the event. People like Frank and Sarah, who had an eternally happy day like an anniversary ruined forever because of the events that transpired on this day did not occur to me. You never really think about how other people that don’t directly come to mind experience events, Not necessarily just tragic events but any event. When any event transpires, multiple people are typically affected by it other than just the people you see right away. I will certainly stop and think about how my actions can affect other people from now on.

  34. Before reading this book, I was unsure of what to expect by simply just reading the title. However, at the end, I wished the book was longer. I really enjoyed this book, and it gave me a new outlook on my life. I think that most people, including myself, get so caught up in their idea of things. I could relate very much to Kyle. I myself like my way of thinking, and I am one to stick to my own ways. This book taught me that if I were to open up to new ideas more frequently, I might be able to see certain situations from a new side. I am going to try to start keeping the ideals from this book in mind as I come across emotional situations.

  35. When I started the Parallax, I did not know anything about what the plot was and I had no expectations. What I found was that The Parallax is a great reminder that all situations in life have more that one viewpoint. Normally, the experiences that I have every day are very one-sided. I never really give any thought about how day to day events effect others. The book taught me that through thinking about the viewpoint of others, I can learn more about them and myself at the same time. I will try to take this with me in my future encounters to better connect with others and have more fulfilling interactions. Thanks!

  36. When I read “The Parallax”, I was very surprised in how everyone just opened up at the meeting. Reading people’s stories made me think about what I have been through in my life and how it would have seemed in their position. When I read Nicole’s story it went right to the heart, my grandfather was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and I was one of the hardest things I have been through. I can imagine how hard it was for him but I also saw how hard things were for him from when I would help him. But I never knew how it affected him emotionally, he was a strong man, probably the strongest I’ve ever known. Finally he got tired of the chemo and everything and was accepting that it was God’s path for him. Writing about things such as my grandfather can help people deal with the situations so much more, it allows them to open up and see it from many aspects. I’m very glad that I have read this book, it has opened up my eyes to a new way of dealing with my emotions and thoughts.

  37. Until I read this book I was unfamiliar with the term “ parallax”, meaning to change ones outlook. I feel that everyone will eventually experience this turn in perspective and why wait for a traumatic event like September 11th. I think that you can gain new perspectives from various methods such as, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Just like the CEO who thought about his job from the perspective of his co-worker. I think that in order to be a successful pharmacist it is crucial to learn this empathy towards others. If you approach every situation only thinking about yourself or your business you will lose the trust of your patients and your business will suffer.

  38. I finished the book just a few minutes ago, and sitting here I’m really surprised at some of the thoughts I have about it. For one, I never read books unless I have to/want to for school, and I found that I could really get into this one. I found myself creating different scenarios in my head on how I thought the different characters were going to turn out. Once I really understood the motivation behind the book, I was trying to think of as many ways as I could to look at each character differently. I’v always known, and been taught that you can’t understand the hardship that people go through unless you put yourself in their shoes or live throught it yourself. For example, people that live in poverty, are at war, or who have been throught life changing accidents. One can only learn from these things if you look at them in different ways.
    This is an extremely important quality that someone going into my profession must posess. “the Parallax” helped me further understand that.

  39. I learned about the therapeutic effects of writing around Sophomore year of high school. I chose to put my feelings down in a lyrical pattern because I have always appreciated music and the power it has on the human mind. At first I wrote songs about the breakup I had with my girlfriend of 5 years. After my good friend committed suicide right before I started college in 2008, I began writing journal entries with no real objective in mind. I think it just felt good to take all of the thoughts out of my head and put them on paper. The human mind is a tricky thing and until you write down your emotions, sometimes its hard to organize and learn from what’s going on in your mind. As Dr. Rickert explains in his book, writing about an experience reveals the subtext in which all meaning is hidden, and, “When we’re in the moment, our emotions conceal the true meaning of our actions.” I have to say that I completely agree with the notion that writing can be therapeutic. As far as the 9/11 tragedy goes, I never realized how it must feel to have a birthday or anniversary on September 11th. Many of my friends share their birth date with arguably one of the most tragic days in The United States’ history. I believe it is completely necessary to see views from other’s point of view to really appreciate them as a person and interact with them as patients or co-workers. I also agree with the idea that leadership is a relationship built on trust. I was the president of Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity and learned that this idea is fundamental to being an effective leader. I believe that Dr. Rickert has done an excellent job of taking a controversial form of therapy and accurately outlining the major benefits that can be drawn from writing down our thoughts. I will continue to write lyrics to analyze my thoughts and will encourage anyone who is struggling with connecting with other’s, whether in a personal or professional setting, to do the same.

  40. Honesty is the best policy. This is something I can remember my parents drilling into my head at a very young age. I must say that I have tried to live my life as honest as possible, but I do not think as human beings, it is possible to be honest 100% of the time. We have feelings. We worry about others’ feelings. I think anyone can relate to Frank’s guilt for not being honest with Sarah up front in the beginning. He was more worried about hurting her feelings at the time, but eventually the guilt consumed him. Writing about my thoughts and feelings is also something my parents taught me to do at a young age. It was a way we dealt with anger and sadness in my house growing up. If I got in trouble for being mouthy or for lying, my parents would have me write about what I did wrong, why it was wrong, how it made me feel, and how I made others around me feel. It was a wonderful way to release my childhood anger and emotions. Nowadays, I think social media has somewhat taken the place of journal or short story writing. People often use social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter to release their anger or express their thoughts and opinions. I’m not entirely sure if it is a good thing that people use these websites as an outlet, but I do know that MANY people freely express their opinions and seem to get some kind of satisfaction out of it. Maybe other people can weigh in and share their thoughts and opinions on this topic of Facebook and Twitter being the new way to write about feelings and emotions.

  41. I also agree that writing is a great way for people to express their emotions and feelings that they may otherwise just keep to themselves. Whether they are writing for other people to read and interpret or if they are just using writing as a way to cope and deal with their feelings, writing can be helpful just because it is materializing what is on one’s mind. As I was growing up and going through the lovely years of middle/high school, I often would journal about the tough times with friends and family and it would truly help to cool down my overloaded head just to have a way to vent. The really nice thing about a journal was that I knew that no one would ever read it and that I could include my thoughts without having to filter what I said. This made journaling completely free of any guilt by possibly hurting someone’s feeling. My journal also helped me to organize my thoughts and it would often help me to clearly see what I needed to do or say in certain situations. My feelings displayed on a page couldn’t lie to me and I had to face the truth. Frank’s guilt grew and grew because he kept it bottled up inside him and he kept pushing it back instead of dealing with it directly. Writing about your feelings and then seeing the words and the truth staring back at you from those pages truly helps to see what is right and wrong.
    In my opinion social media and blogging on the internet is often abused by many people as an emotional outlet. People often don’t realize that the words they put out on the internet can drastically affect others. Somethings are appropriate for the entire world to see, but sometimes venting and expressing feelings should be done in private between those who are involved.

  42. The Parallax brought about a wide range of emotions from sorrow, to anger, to joy. As the story progresses it is evident that writing is an excellent way to express one’s emotions. I could not agree more with Samuel’s comment, “when we are in the moment, our emotions conceal the true meaning of our actions.” Emotions can unfortunately get in the way of our actions sometimes and true meaning is not expressed. Emotional intelligence is very important as The Parallax states. Controlling and expressing emotions through writing allowed the individuals in the story to get the true meaning of their actions across. Personal effectiveness was achieved once emotions were controlled. The Parallax definitely gets the reader thinking about looking at personal change and emotional impact that can be involved.

  43. Reading The Parallax helped me to realized the importance of practicing self-reflection in my life. Throughout college, there are a only a few times where you can really sit down and truly reflect/think about events in your life. Whenever I had conflicts or difficult events in my life, I couldn’t to come to a resolve and consequently, I would hide it away in my mind where I wouldn’t have to think about it. When that wouldn’t work, I kept myself busy to keep my mind off of those issues. Although running away from my thoughts and feelings brought temporary relief, they would always come back to me in times of solitude, such as when I’m lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. After I started reading this book, I took the time to write on my own and I think it has helped me so far. When I go back to read my writings, it helps me to reflect on my thoughts and also helps me to think in a different perspective than at the time of when I actually wrote that journal entry. I think The Parallax does a great job of emphasizing the importance of self-analysis and reflections. Dr. Rickert hits on a key point that I think everyone should know about.

  44. The Parallax is a very well-written book that depicted every detail of each character’s motions and feelings. Because every scene was described so well, I could easily grasp what each character was thinking and feeling in their mind. I could even relate myself to some of the stories in the book. What I got from the book is that every person can react differently to the same situation because they see it differently. There are more than one viewpoint that vary from one’s to another’s. It is sometimes very hard to read feelings of others because you would never think in their viewpoint. I think sometimes it is even more difficult to actually perceive my own feelings such as depression, sadness, loneliness, or anger. It was very interesting to be reminded by the book that there aren’t always either yes or no for the answers that you think there would be, but different people can accept things differently and you can easily understand other’s feelings if you take your time to think in other’s shoes.

  45. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started reading the Parallax. I learned that there are many ways to view situations in life. It’s hard for me to put myself in others shoes, but this book taught me that this is something that I should try to do in order to understand where they are coming from. I think that I would be a more well-rounded person if I actually took the time to step back and see things the way other people might see them. I am glad that I read this book and learned that from it rather than having to have something traumatic happen to bring me to this realization. This book brought out a lot of emotions and as it goes on it showed how there are different ways to express them. This book certainly got me thinking.

  46. I really enjoyed reading this book. Before I started reading the book I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was really able to connect with the characters and their struggles. It has helped me to realize that I have struggles in my life but I don’t take the time to try and understand them from a different point of view. From now on I am going to try to not only see things from my point of view but also try to consider how other people see things and their emotions involved. I also learned from this book that I don’t always communicate how I feel and my relationships would benefit if I am willing to share how I feel instead of holding it all in and letting it build up. This book really made me think about how I can improve to become a better person.

  47. The Parallax induces one to look at the current situations they may face with a completely new state of mind. While reading, I found myself comparing each character to someone I may know or to myself. Additionally, the descriptive writing style allowed me to envision the story in my mind as I progressed through the book. I agree with Andrea, it is truely important to look at things from various angles in order to really understand what may be going on. Not only do we learn about others this way, but we learn a tramendous amount about ourselves and our true emotions. How we percieve a situation often varies greatly from individual to individual. The deffinition of the term parallax is everything but simple and I never thought one little word could have so much meaning. It’s truely eye opening.

  48. I never knew much about therapeutic writing before, but I think it is a great way to help personal problems. When I started reading The Parallax” I didn’t know what to expect, but, after reading it I would definitely say that it was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read so far. It was very enlightening and I enjoyed all the different stories that the characters offered in this book. Also I agree that writing and communication are admirable ways to expand our perspective. While reading The Parallax I realized few complications that I faced during my life. I think this book teaches the audience to connect with their personal feelings to make better decisions in life. From now on I will definitely think twice before doing anything so that it doesn’t hurt anyone.

  49. Throughout my life, I had no interest in writing anything outside of school work. After reading The Parallax, it got me thinking that creative writing could actually be beneficial when dealing with current and future problems. Through writing, you transcribe whatever thoughts are running through your mind. This helps keep our thoughts organized and gives ourselves a way to see the truth that lies within ourselves. When you do this, you can learn to accept whatever mistakes you have made in the past and how they shaped you as a person today, so that you can keep moving forward and not be hindered by possible internal conflicts

  50. From a practical perspective, The Parallax tells me to write therapeutically and purposefully for my well-being (Point taken, but I’ll admit that forming the new habit will not come easy). From a critic’s perspective, The Parallax banks on storytelling from different points of view combined with the emotionally-charged experiences of Rickert’s Writing Workshop participants to achieve a heightened sense of emotional intelligence in its readers. From a philosophical perspective, The Parallax offers a portal to discussion on bigger ideas such as perception as reality, storytelling as group therapy, and what it means to be human. From a personal perspective, one’s identity—personal experiences, the house one grew up in, culture, and so on—helps mold one’s perceptions, which in turn, helps one make sense of this otherwise irrational, absurd world. For example, my perspective is that some individuals cling to religion out of fear of the unknown, fear of death, or because religion can offer a story and moral compass that relieves the shock of absurdity. Religion can be comfortable. Religion is tradition. My identity, however, has been shaped by the way I was raised as a child without any traditional religion forced upon me by my parents or my community. Instead, the minds and philosophy of Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, and Jason Silva have been huge influences on my identity and the way I see and create my reality. Thus, given the incredibly complex nature of human identity and perception, I find it worthwhile to examine and consider the multitudes of perspectives within our friendships, workplaces, communities, and even within the global arena so that we can avoid self-inflicted damage, miscommunication, misunderstanding, and other destructive behaviors.

  51. As I was reading The Parallax, I felt myself begin to feel the struggles of each character. I continually need to remind myself that every person fights with their own struggles on a daily basis. I strongly agree with what Chris discussed about emotions. I frequently find myself makings immediate decisions based solely on emotions of the moment, whether they be happy or sad. I also feel that a successful way to manage these emotions would be to keep a journal and write for therapeutic purposes. I would be writing not for a grade or to please anyone else but to simply find peace and understanding within myself. Reading this book renewed a new perspective within my mind.

  52. I feel that everyone can relate to each of the character’s story at some point in their life. I connected with Carissa and Nicole’s story as she described watching her grandfather suffer as I too once looked down upon my grandfather in the hospital watching him suffer and feeling helpless. Also enjoyed watching Kyle’s transformation and though I am not proud of it, could relate to his arrogance at times. As James spoke about his father, I found myself getting emotional of the thought of living without my father and thinking of all the memories and little inside jokes I would cherish if I were to lose him. When I was younger, I used to write letters to people when I was angry. I would never deliver them to these people, but I found that it allowed me to gather my emotions and calm myself before speaking rashly to someone. I found the process to be very healing and it is something I would like to make a habit of again. As a senior in high school, we wrote letters to ourselves to be delivered to us years later describing the person we would like to become. I recently recieved this letter from myself in the mail and found that writing my hopes, fears, and dreams out and looking back on them later helped me to acess where I am at in my life, as well as any work that still needs to be done. I agree with what Lisa Deiters said about writing being a “therapeutic” process. It allows one to take time out from our busy schedules, relax, and really connect with our emotions and see things from a new perspective.

  53. While reading the parallax a whirlwind of thoughts came to my mind about my personal life and my experiences. I had thoughts of my life, my assumptions, and my actions and how they related to Frank. The difference between Frank and Sarah at the beginning of the reading is what triggered my first thought. Like Frank, I like to be in control; not just the type of control that has to do with my own life and what I do, but also the type of control that deals with the ones you love to protect them. Now to me and Frank, we assume that this makes us look strong, protective, and trustworthy, but to others the assumption may be controlling, domineering, and uptight. Another thought I had about Frank deals with the expression, “When it rains, it pours.” I thought of this when Frank started feeling guilty and worried about the 9/11 events happening on T.V. After that initial feeling of guilt, several guilty feelings started pouring out of Frank, such as making Sarah hike when she had COPD, thinking she was mocking him when in reality she couldn’t breathe, and his father’s death. Most of these guilty feelings are based on assumptions he made about a situation. This, I can definitely relate to personally and it’s due to one simple reason; holding emotions deep inside until one day they all come out and not looking into the issue of why you feel guilty or why you assumed what you assumed. Throughout my life, I have had the struggles of keeping emotions trapped inside of me for the sole purpose of not wanting to face them and not wanting to dig deeper into my thoughts and look at all possibilities of why something happened and why I feel the way I feel. After being in college for close to 5 years, I have realized the agony that comes with ignoring your feelings. I experienced unneeded stress during my studies, separation from my close friends and family, and overall feelings of guilt that left me feeling confused. After sitting down, clearing my thoughts and actually figuring out what my feelings were, I decided to look into assumptions that could have been made so that I could no longer live a life in emotional shadows. Everyone experiences emotions, and no one should be ashamed of that. What matters is how we deal with the emotions and what assumptions we make due to the emotions we are feeling.

  54. After reading The Parallax, I am wondering why I ever stopped writing and keeping a diary. When I was younger, I was always writing in my diary about stories, my feelings, and events that occurred. While reading the book, I have realized that there are several internal struggles that I am faced with that I don’t take the time to try and understand from a different view point. This book has thought me a lot about communication and made me realize how my relationships with others may be different if I communicate differently and share how I feel instead of holding my feelings in. I also feel that I need to revert back to having a diary or journal now that I look back on my experiences though another perspective and understanding. I never really thought about how writing is healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually. It allows you to express yourself without being critiqued. More people should be encouraged to write to express their feelings or release their anger whether it is in a journal or in a note to someone else. This book has certainly made me re-think things and want to become a better person.

  55. While this book didn’t completely sell me on the therapeutic effect writing may have, I did find myself able to connect with many of the stories and characters in the book. I’m not one who tends to express myself and I let my feelings bottle up inside of me until they change how I act or treat people permanently because of assumptions of mistrust. I think therapeutic writing can definitely help a lot of people who are able to express their feeling and emotions and help them to ascertain exactly what the reasons are for the things they do.

  56. After reading The Parallax I have realized how important it is to express your emotions. Oftentimes I feel people try to hide their emotions deep inside of themselves but this is unhealthy and can lead to unresolved issues that might resurface later in life. Some feelings may feel painful to confront but addressing those feelings is the only way to work through them. The book looks at how writing can be used as a tool to express how you feel. After taking Writing for Health I have realized how strong of an impact writing can have at helping people understand what they are feeling. This book compounded on how important writing can help. I feel that writing your thoughts down on paper, even if they are scattered thoughts, can help you sort out your feelings. Overall, I feel writing helps us to gain insights into why we feel the way we do. Furthermore, just like the book, I feel like writing helps us to grow as individuals and live more fulfilling, happy lives.

  57. After reading the Parallax and trying out the concept for myself, I must say it does help get things off your chest that most people just lay sitting their, gradually getting heavier and heavier. Writing without restraint is easier than it looks, in fact most people would probably find out that once the ink hits the paper, the flow can go on for a much longer time than expected. Being able to express your subconscious feelings. It can help uncover how you really feel about certain truths, things that you would never had said to anyone else. Even rereading things you’ve written can help learn emotional intelligence. Reflecting on those feelings and thoughts at the time, and how they are similar or different presently just compounds the therapeutic effects of writing.

  58. Reading The Parallax has made me realize that writing about your feeling as a form of therapy can reveal feelings that you don’t realize are bothering and can help you realize how others may feel about a situation. I think the granddaughter in the story that talks about her grandfather having Alzheimer’s disease is a good example to illustrate this. She writes about how her grandmother and grandfather both feel about her grandfather’s disease. I know someone with a similar disease, and it has really upset me. I have often thought about how this person’s disease will affect me and how it will affect them, but I have never thought about how it will affect their spouse. After writing in the perspective of this person’s spouse , I realized how this person’s spouse may feel, something I never thought about before writing.

  59. In response to Michael Heltzel’s post, I too have never had any real interest in writing outside of an academic setting. I have not read The Parrallax yet but am looking forward to it. From the sounds of the reviews, it sounds like it is a relatable story. I do think that writing could be beneficial and therapeutic, especially for people going through tough times. I can see where getting something out and off your chest instead of keeping it bottled in would be really constructive, even it is only putting it on paper. In response to Lisa Dieters post, I also sometimes forget that everyone has their own cross to carry. Great point!

  60. I can relate to the characters in some ways, but I never have found writing to be therapeutic, I hate writing and I always have, but I still understand its importance. I reflect back on my life all the time, but I would rather do it while fishing or some other relaxing situation where I can isolate myself. I also think I have a more laid back approach on my mistakes in life. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but they don’t haunt me; my goal is to not repeat the same mistake twice. Without my mistakes I wouldn’t be where I am today and if I had managed to avoid the mistake and not learn from it, then I don’t know if I would still be the same person. Everyone is going to make mistakes, but from my experience, learning life lessons the hard way can make things much more interesting.

  61. The concept of truth and reality really hit home for me. I always deemed myself as a realist and accept things the way they are. But I realized I usually don’t take a good look at how it affects me. A lot of the posts here talk about writing to be therapeutic, and I can definitely agree. When I start writing I can sort of press a switch in my mind and freely release my thoughts. This can help me get a better look at what’s going on and also broaden my perspective and keep an open mind. When I first got an idea of what the Parallax was about, I was pretty uninterested. Like I mentioned earlier, I am a realist and very skeptical when it comes to people changing who they are. The book’s characters and their stories definitely gives you a new perspective and possibly gives you an opportunity to apply these new ideas in the way you look at yourself and possibly make changes.

  62. I agree with the original post in that the parallax is a very interesting story with many lessons to be taken from it. The story itself is much deeper than what I expected and tells many stories rather than just one. The grand picture incorporates many themes that are applicable to almost anyone, from dealing with personal struggles to controlling one’s emotions and maybe most importantly the power of writing. The main thing I’ve taken back from this work is how important writing is and the creative freedom we gain from putting our thoughts and feelings into words. I can personally say that writing is something i’m not very fond of and I don’t miss the dreadful high school years one bit because of it. But as much as i loathe it I’ve also come to appreciate my works once they are completed, the work I put on paper often surprises me of what my mind can deliver when given the time and space to be creative. The parallax resonated with me on that point and like you said it has a therapeutic effect to it.

  63. The post entitled, “Truth & Reality” stuck out to me the most. I can relate to this personally. When I go through hardships in life, I take to writing. It is therapeutic to fully express myself through writing. I can be completely truthful and look at different experiences in my life from a different perspective. An exercise that I preform is write an in depth letter about a problem in my life, and then burn the letter. Pouring my heart out and then visualizing it being reduced to ashes aides in the process of letting go and moving on.

  64. To live in truth and to completely abide by the truth is perhaps the biggest challenge a person can take on. As we are immersed in a culture of relativism, it is extremely difficult to know what is of truth anymore. How often do we go out of our comfort zone to defend the truth in face of harsh criticism? I am guilty for failing to do as a result of my fear and complacency. In order to live in and completely abide by the truth, it takes courage and humility to realize our own perfections and to perceive a reality bigger than ourselves. Fulton Sheen summed it up quite brilliantly: “Humility is truth, the recognition of ourselves as we are.”

  65. I found the middle section of The Parallax very enlightening. I had never before realized how beneficial it can be to truly sit down and take a moment to view things from another person’s perspective. On the same train of thought, I also realized how important it can be to communicate your own perspective to someone that doesn’t understand where you are coming from or what you are going through. Reading The Parallax has encouraged me to start writing about my feelings and experiences to improve not only self-awareness but, also to improve my communication with others.

  66. Reading this book helped me to realize that there is more than one point of view. Everyone is affected differently by different situations. When you realize others opinions and view it can change your view and opinions. I have a hard time seeing things in others point of view at first, but usually I see it once I either think about it or it is pointed out. I also have a very hard time communicating my feelings to others to help them see my point of view. This booked helped me to realize the importance of expressing your feelings and listening to those that are expressing their feeling to you. This was a good read and it was very insightful.

  67. The Parallax made me see things that I never really saw or put too much focus on. After reading it, I realize my definition of “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes” is not the definition that is represented in The Parallax. I feel that for the most part, I accept that people may have different views than my own; however, I never really gave too much thought to those views. Understanding others means that you have to not only accept they may have different views, but you also have to accept that their views are as important as your views. Acceptance is not sufficient to understanding others. Acceptance is only the beginning. To truly understand the views of others, you have to understand how the view itself applies to that specific person. If this is done, your view only becomes stronger or it changes into something that you feel stronger about. I feel that this is an important concept; it is one that everyone should consistently work toward.

  68. Before reading The Parallax, I never really thought about keeping a diary. Now I think everyone should take the time to write and reflect on their lives. It is amazing how writing about a situation can bring out your subconscious mind and allow you to really see the reasoning behind things, things you were either unaware of or in denial of. I really connected with the story of the girl whose grandfather had recently died. I had a similar situation and I was angry with my own grandfather for giving up on fighting his illness and telling us to stop the treatment. After reading The Parallax and writing things from his point of view I finally understood the pain he must have been in and how selfish I was being. At any time a person feels like they are at a crossroads in life, they should really consider writing about it because it really does give you a whole new perspective, it might just change your life too.

  69. After reading the Parallax, I felt a connection with Frank and Sarah’s character in many ways. I felt that Frank’s character displayed the opitomy of “seeing the glass half full”. There was always a sense of guilt lingering over his head, and I feel that many people can relate to that. I found it interesting that 9/11 was the trigger to all his emotional memories. I am sure this is a connection many people whose loved ones were tragically taken that day can relate to. Frank’s never ending guilt made me feel depressed after reading his heartbreaking stories about his father, his wife’s COPD, and his “almost” mistress. It is tragic that some people can never feel a sense of relief. It would be interesting to read about this story from Sarah’s point of view and what emotions she displays in the same settings. I think it would feel like I was reading a completely different story, a happier and less depressing one to say the least.

  70. Reading the parallax was quite interesting; to me it shows how much most of us have suppressed feelings. I think in most cases we try to conceal our guilt by suppressing our emotions as expressed in the book. Frank thought that he was responsible for his dad’s death and carried this with him all this time. The same can be said of Ryan who had fought with his sister before her departure to Iraq and her eventual death. As the book said by writing or even having a close confidant to share such personal stories can be a conduit to get over such difficult emotional experiences.

  71. On 9/11, I was in the 5th grade and had just come in from P.E. class when my home room teacher had the television on. “That’s just terrible. All those people.” Then my teacher turned off the television and began a math lesson. I didn’t realize the magnitude of what was going on. After school in the car ride home my older high school sisters kind of explained the effect it could have on my family. It wasn’t until years later I realized just how awful and how much of an effect it had on the country. The Parallax brought these memories to the surface and goose bumps to me. The truth is often hard for people to understand so they create a fiction of events. I think writing; although it may be fictional, can be very helpful. It helps people get to the truth and reality of the situation.

  72. I would like to expand on my earlier comment, that writing helps people see the truth and reality of the situations. Writing helps bring issues to the surface that someone maybe hiding from themselves. It’s like when your friends confront you on issues you have no choice but to look at it more deeply. If you write about an issue that you made more fictional than real and as you read what you’ve wrote you’re encouraged to see the issue more deeply and hopeful find the truth and reality of it. You can’t run away from what you wrote once it’s on paper no matter how fictional or real it is.

  73. I think the hardest part about writing is that it forces you to commit to paper what your thoughts and feeling are. Not only do most people struggle with finding the right words to describe their feelings, but also can be surprised when they look back and see exactly what they were feeling in the past. Admitting to yourself how you feel, especially when that feeling is influenced by the actions of other people can be one of the most therapeutic and eye opening moments in a person’s life.

  74. There are many aspects in life that are important: writing, communication, and honesty are only just a few of them. The Parallax shows the importance of all three of these. Writing allowed Frank to be honest with himself and the guilt he felt about past events in his life. It also showed the power of communication and being opened with the important people in his life. Communication and honesty allowed the writers at the workshop to be open and speak freely. Writing allows us to reflect and think about anything and everything in our lives. It can also allow us to disappear and use our imagination and creativity. Writing, communication, and honesty can be important aspects that we should use daily. It’s sometimes impossible to do all three but we should try.

  75. I do not agree with everything Chris said about the Parallax. It is a story so close to reality. I felt like I could have been watching TV with the Beck Family or sitting in the conference in-between Mrs. Beck and Dr. Stein as others shared their heart touching stories. The Parallax teaches people how to see themselves through a new understanding. That is by deep, thoughtful reflection. Chris mentions that is reflection where you identify the painful truth of the situations we long to avoid or ignore. However, I do not think that your reflection needs to contain the entire truth. When Dr. Stein gives them all the writing assignment she says she just wants them to write. It can be fictional or real, it didn’t matter as long as they were writing. Dr. Stein did not want to limit to creative flow of any one person because each person will identify with their emotions differently. I believe we can see ourselves in a new light as long as we identify our true emotions. The facts of the stories may not be real, but as long as our thoughts, feelings, and emotions that go along with them are then we can find value from personal reflection and writing.

  76. After reading “The Parallax”, I remembered the importance of writing my thoughts and feelings down. The act of writing allows one to express their inner feelings without feeling judged by anyone. In my opinion, writing can be considered therapeutic; at least it is for me. I am able to reflect on the past and justify my actions whether right or wrong. While reading “The Parallax, I was able to identify with some of it because I have a vivid memory of the events that took place on 9/11 back in seventh grade. Its scary how things can change in a instant and that other individuals decision can affect you detrimentally.

  77. It’s pretty amazing to see how much The Parallax has had an impact on people. I was never really much of a writer until something pretty big happened in my life. The opening chapters of the book reminded me of how when something sudden happens that shakes your entire world. I lost my best friend my first year of college and it was a shock to my system. I experienced that moment when you cannot comprehend what is happening and it’s hard to breathe. One of the therapeutic techniques I used to get through this time was writing. That practice of expressing everything that is going through your mind and the emotions you are experiencing at that moment in time can be empowering. Writing freely allows you to have complete control over your thoughts and it is fun to go back and reflect on your writing later down the road. I really enjoyed reading The Parallax and it reminded how much that writing helped me during that difficult time of life and that it is a very therapeutic practice.

  78. The meaning of the word “parallax” in of itself requires a since of reflection. An apparent change in the direction of an object caused by an alteration in observational positioning. As a result a new line of sight is formed. The correlation from a word formed originally from Greek astronomy has now been transcribed into form of self reflection and emotional healing. At first glance, I had no idea what to expect from the text; nonetheless, after reading the first couple of pages I was engaged on a personal level. My mind wandered into memories of what I was doing on that tragic day. The confusion of what was happening, the emotions, the built up frustration, the grief and anguish. Fortunately, I was not effected personally from the events of 9/11, but the events from that day still seem to hit home. I have experience low points in my life through losses or hard times; however, through self reflection and forgiveness a negative can always be transcribed into a positive outcome depending on your own personal response to the situation. The truth and reality are not easy concepts to accept at times, but through them we are able to grow. Thus, therapeutic writing does not have to remain structured as long as a person is able to effectively express their emotions and gain personal effectiveness is all that matters.

    “With many hardships brings even greater forthcoming prosperity”

  79. Writing for therapeutic purposes can be a very enlightening experience, but I think the most benefit comes from going back and reading what you previously wrote and expanding on that. This allows the writer to look at the experience from a different point of view depending on their mood that day and other experiences that have happened since the last writing session. After many sessions of looking deeper and deeper into a situation and analyzing the viewpoints of all people involved, a person may eventually be able to get a true understanding of the event that occurred. Frank continually looks back at events, even just throughout this book, and continues to get a deeper and deeper understanding of how and why things happen the way they do.

  80. Writing for therapeutic purposes can be so helpful. Getting the chance to let out your emotions on paper can be a great way to let off steam or cope with certain things. Writing feelings and recording events can also be helpful, as you can look back on them and grow from your experiences. When in the heat of the moment, one can think irrationally and the situation can easily become distorted in the mind. By writing down encounters and experiences, you can look back on that episode and go back over the situation and learn from it. Maybe now you can be able to see from the other point of view. Or you can remember your feelings about something at one point in time and compare them to how you feel now. I think that being able to reflect on your life in such a way will be extremely beneficial to you, as it will help you grow as a person.

  81. I was pleasantly surprised when I read the Parallax. I did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did. There are many things a person can learn from this book. The one thing I learned from it is the idea of using fictional stories to learn a real life lesson. I have realized that this is an excellent tool to describe a more complex real life situation. This story does this wonderfully and could be applied to many different aspects of life.

  82. Looking at the title of this post, my first thought was of something my boss said to me once: “perception is reality.” Self-reflection can be very important because it can help you see things the way other people see them. It’s difficult to think about ourselves from the third person. The way we tend to think the world works is that we are who we are and people should and will accept us for who we are. However, many people (including my boss) would say that the way people perceive you is all that matters. For example, you may consider yourself a really diligent, hard worker. Yet, if people perceive you as being lazy, then for all intents and purposes, you ARE lazy. Self-reflection can offer insight into who you think you are, who you actually are, and how other people might perceive you. As other people previously said, writing for therapeutic purposes can be a good way to do all this. Keep a journal and write down your thoughts about who you are, where you’re going, and how to achieve your goals.

  83. This book really brought up some tough issues that all people have to face at some point in their lives. It is never easy to look at yourself in the mirror and be forced to see yourself as others see you. The saying goes that we can be our toughest critics, but I disagree. I think that learn to lie to ourselves about ourselves and create an idealized version of ourselves in our own heads. When the time comes that we must face how others truly perceive us, it can be emotionally crushing. I think this book does a fantastic job of pointing out how we can take how we see others and see ourselves in the same manner. Only when we know ourselves can we begin to understand others and where they are coming from on any particular topic. Empathy is not an innate trait, but an acquired skill through self realization.

  84. Initially, after reading Frank’s story, my first reaction was the same as the middle-aged man. How could such a pivotal moment in America’s history be filled with such trivial things as a hike or a fight between spouses? But in the words of Rickert “Our memories both recent and distant form the backdrop of our lives.” He is right. We all experience events differently because we have different things going on in the midst of our interactions and all of life’s trials. What really hit home for me was when one of those at the conference put themselves in the shoes of a man receiving a diagnosis that would impact his life forever. As a pharmacist I will encounter many people whom have possibly just had their lives rocked by a doctor’s appointment or diagnosis. It is all too easy to look at people as faceless, lab values without thinking about what they are going through or how they are impacted by the prescription I am handing them. The Parallax reminded me to put myself in the shoes of that human being standing across the counter from me.

  85. I am very happy that I read The Parallax. At first I did not know what to expect, but after finishing it, it really got me thinking. Chris’s comment about where we all were on 9/11 really got me thinking about what I was doing the day of that tragic event. I was only 6 years old when it happened and I still remember it vividly. I was waiting for the bus with my mom and my neighbor across the street came running over crying and screaming. She told us about how we were under attack and that none of us kids should go to school. My mom did not believe her at first, but when we went inside and turned on the news, we saw that it was no joke. I stayed home from school that day and my mom and I stayed inside watching the news and crying about what was going on. From this moment on, we all had a huge shift in the way we saw the world. Especially me being so young during the events of that day, I went from seeing the world as a very innocent, loving place, to a place that was full of evil and fear. It was a perspective shift that I am sure I shared with many people that day.

  86. In The Parallax, therapeutic writing is emphasized as an important tool for managing or improving personal effectiveness. Writing can allow a person to see the truest form of oneself. Sometimes it is hard to face the feelings and emotions that dwell in the deepest parts of us. Putting pen to paper and revealing your true self can be eye-opening. I think the exercise of therapeutic writing could be considered a parallax itself. You see your own thoughts and feelings exposed in a new light or different perspective- in words written right in front of you. Exploring your innermost thoughts is an important way to connect with yourself and bring truth and reality to the forefront. I liked what Chris Grant said in his blog post that “writing for therapeutic purposes is like singing in the shower.” No restraints, no critics, and no doubts are in the way of expressing yourself. The Parallax shows the power of therapeutic writing by providing examples of excerpts written by those attending the conference. Shedding light to your true thoughts may bring about actions that positively impact yourself and those around you.

  87. When a person looks at a situation he may consciously see the world in terms he sees as defiant and unequivocal. However, our personal perspectives are colored by the sum of our personal experience. I think often the conscious component of our paradigm is composed of the logical conclusions we arrive at based off situation outcomes and subconscious component is the emotional response to the same situations that ebbs and flows in different directions throughout our lives. The subconscious is more prone to being forming illogical judgments that a person may not realize are illogical or untrue. In following Dr. Stein’s writing as therapy philosophy some people are able to gain perspective on their own experience if they can separate themselves temporally or spatially by looking back on the past, looking around respectively.

  88. I think that the 9/11 situation had a lot of people tune out from reality. The event itself was unreal for many. Wishing it was all nothing but a dream and that soon they will wake up from a nightmare. That day was horrible, some suffered much more than other based on how they were related to it. For those who were in the direct vicinity of the incident their experiences are much different than those who watched it from home. While many people were not able to accept the fact that it had happened, they need to understand that it is reality and they can’t run away. They need to face the incident because it it is part of their reality because you can only run away from the truth for so long.

  89. I agree that the stories provided in The Parallax were extremely vivid and easy to connect with. The most important message that I obtained from The Parallax is that you have to look at yourself and attempt to see the way that others see you in order to better yourself. As mentioned in the book, writing about yourself in the form of therapeutic writing can be a very helpful tool on the road to self-improvement. A diary, to me, was always something that girls kept as children that held all of our deepest secrets but, after reading The Parallax, I can see that it is the simplest way to integrate the idea of therapeutic writing into our daily lives. Therapeutic writing allows us to get our actual emotions and thoughts on paper without any chance of rejection, which gives us the opportunity to understand ourselves better. The Parallax is trying to tell us that given a better personal understanding, we can look at our lives and decisions from a new angle and learn from the past.

  90. The Parallax is one of the best books to read when trying to improve yourself as a person. I believe one of the best moments in the book is during the workshop when people were trying to put themselves in other’s shoes. The concept of having a different point of view is important to view what others are going through, as well as, see yourself from another point of view. Starting over and letting go of something or someone isn’t easy. But, when the point of view is changed, it may help to move on and be better.

  91. The Parallax is a book about perspective. The perspective in which Frank perceives everything is very different than the way Sarah does. I can relate to this idea of perspectives, because I am always trying to find out why things are the way that they are. An example is I like to read up on global issues and history to find out why things are the way that they are. It is easy to point fingers at people who do bad things, but when we learn the history we can understand why certain people act the way they do. Life is all about perspective.

  92. I agree with all the other readers of The Parallax. I was pleasantly surprise with how touching the book was. The Parallax was an eye-opening piece of literature that we can all connect too and I believe that everyone will connect to it differently as well. This book truly opened my eyes to analyzing myself and reflecting on my own life and the personal struggles I have faced and those that are still to come. The stream-of-consciousness style that this book was in, provides a therapeutic outlet for creativity and it truly shows me how therapeutic it can really be especially as we learn to write down whatever is in our mind uncensored. After reading this book I will definitely consider writing my thoughts down, in a journal to serve as a sanctuary from my busy life so I can express and accept the range of emotions I am feeling as I grow and change as an adult.

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