Oversight is a word that came up this week, with Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen appearing before the House Oversight Committee in the United States.
The Oversight Committee (or the Committee on Oversight and Reform, to give it its full title) is the main investigative arm of the US Government’s House of Representatives.
But it got me thinking about “oversight”.
Oversight, in this use, is oversight in the context of overseeing. The committee oversees everything, with a view to identifying and rooting out illegality or corruption.
So oversight is overseeing, authoritative, powerful, all-seeing.
But oversight can also be not seeing.
As in, “forgive me, that was an oversight on my part.”
The definition of oversight is:
- an unintentional failure to notice or do something, or
- the action of overseeing something.
These two definitions can, depending on the use, be poles apart in interpretation.
Oversight is the action of seeing everything, and oversight is also the fact of missing something.
And it strikes me that so much of the way we look at life can also be poles apart, depending on our interpretation, depending on our perspective, depending on the choice we make of how we view things.
Reality and almost everything in it is malleable.
There are things we can change, and there are things we can’t. Knowing the difference is important, because very many things we think we can’t change, we probably can.
Changing the things we can change starts with a choice of how we view things.