The Need For Perspective
*Sorry it has been ages since my last post. I have been busy not that it’s an excuse. I think this post is appropriate for today, the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The Need For Perspective
You can look at anything from multiple angles and change its integrity. It is this fact that gives us agreement and often disagreement. Disagreement, with its host of characteristics, some ugly and others beautiful, should not cripple us and prevent us from getting anything done. I recently saw Raghava KK’s TED Talk on his new iPad children’s book/app and what he said about perspective really stuck me as simply genius. He stated that it is perspective that gives us creativity and empathy. In our often ethnocentric world, we cannot forget about the others’ point of view. That it is completely valid and that the ones who hold them, in their deepest of hearts, believe it to be true and correct. Though challenging, it is through the understanding of their perspective do we suddenly take a little of them with us and understand where they are coming from. Statements like “George Washington was a freedom fighter” versus a statement like “George Washington was a terrorist” are both true and it simply depends on who’s perspective you are looking from. It is through this exercise that we can begin to put ourselves in the other’s shoes and learn a little more about them and ultimately ourselves. Even with creativity in mind, all great art has arose from someone looking at something through a nontraditional lens and creating a new perspective. Just ask Monet, Picasso, or Pollock and I am sure they could tell you the same thing.
These new perspectives are the foundation for empathy and hopefully, in a more empathetic world, we can have a better one. It is through empathy, and sympathy, that we reach compassion. I find it interesting that, though we may not agree with what the other has to say, coming to terms with it can often take us to a place of compassion. The word passion, with its popular understanding of intense emotion, actually has a Greek root in suffering. It is interesting, especially on this anniversary, that figuratively, coming to grips with a perspective you do not share may be a little difficult, and that poetically it can be seen as some sort of small suffering. Not to get too religious, but maybe in a world of so many perspectives, it is up to us, if we wish to have a harmonious environment, that we take up our own “little, daily crosses” and learn to make peace with other perspectives. Acknowledge the small suffering and grow because of it. Welcome new perspectives for the sake of creativity, intellect, and empathy.