Perspective is such a big problem for us humans because it’s hard to attempt to look at something from someone else’s point of view, especially when it contradicts what you believe or stated.
There’s a story that goes as such: A man and his two kids board a train to go home. During the ride the kids are being completely obnoxious; yelling, screaming and fooling around. Everyone on the train is very annoyed as the man does absolutely nothing to control his children, basically ignoring them, and just stares off into space. As his kids are practically screaming and fighting each other, someone finally snaps, “What’s wrong with you? Can’t you control your kids?” The man looks up and reconnects with reality. “Oh… I’m sorry…” he says, “They told me today that… my wife died in a car accident.”
Hopefully as you see the man’s side of the story, you can feel sympathy for him. He’s in shock and still recovering the traumatic event. His kids probably don’t even act like that, but they know something is deeply wrong in the tone and expression coming from their father. The only thing known to the rest of the train is that some guy got on, his kids are annoying, he can’t control them, and it’s an inconvenience to them.
I feel like today’s world has such a lack of perspective because either people forget that there are at least two sides to a story so once their finished getting angry, then they listen to the whole story, understand, and apologize. Then there are the people who would rather close their ears yelling “lalala” and stay blissfully ignorant because they refuse to look at the situation from someone else’s shoes.
I’d like to see more understanding from person to person. It can be really miniscule things to bigger situations. For example, someone is cold, but it feels like 80 degrees in the classroom. Instead of asking how they’re cold, because you don’t feel cold, you could ask why they’re cold. Say you get sick and you are in extreme pain, hurling everywhere, you can say “it’s probably the bad food I ate last night,” or you could go to a doctor who will tell you that your appendix has burst.
Perspective can go such a long way, even though it’s a hard thing to do, especially when wrapped up in emotion. Like the fatal situation above, the only thing worse than having too much information to sift through, is having only one piece of the puzzle and thinking you know it all.
“Some people will never learn anything because they know everything too soon”
– Alexander Pope.
Written by Nifa Kaniga