Perspective has a Latin root meaning “look through” or “perceive”. When you interact with others, are you seeing the situation through your eyes only? Or do you make a conscious effort to also see it from their perspective?
Perspective is also an art term, the techniques of which create the effect of 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional flat surface. This idea can be applied to our own lives. In order to understand another person or a situation objectively, we need to step back and consider the other point(s) of view. This enables us to create a meeting ground, a place of better understanding.
Trying to Solve Problems with Linear Thinking
The situation right now with COVID-19 is highly illustrative of our need to improve on our ability to see the many points of view. There are two camps that are extremely polarized. Fear particularly can cloud our ability to see the wider perspective. It freezes us into the one point of view where we personally feel the safest.
But, the situation in the world right now is actually highly complex. Why are we as a collective trying to analyze a 3-dimensional problem with 2-dimensional linear thinking? Many people are feeling displaced, vulnerable, and upset. The other person may be dealing with a whole different set of problems than you around this set of circumstances.
It behooves to at the very least show more kindness to the person who may contradict our personal belief system. Also, to allow them the right to have a different point of view. We are way too inclined to want everyone to agree with one consensual reality. We may be “a herd”, but, we are always entitled to have and express our own sovereign viewpoint. People seem to be forgetting that.
A Wider Perspective Leads to Better Understanding
Let’s have some respect for each other. In the long run, carefully considering other viewpoints could actually stand the herd in good stead. There is a very big gray zone between the black or white to which most people are staunchly trying to adhere. There may be answers there, if we could all commit to trying to understand the other perspectives. Let’s meet in the middle and discuss them, instead of all this divisive bickering.
Slowly but surely, it’s killing us.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” ~
“If we possess narrative sympathy, enabling us to see the world from other’s point of view, we cannot kill. If we do not, we cannot love.” ~
Perspective | The Other Eyes © Susan L Hart 2020