The Pitfalls of Perspective

  • Leader
    September 26, 2022 4:14 PM PDT

    How many times have many of you been in a room with friends, family or even some people you really didn’t know, sat back for a few minutes to take in the stories being told from one person to another and found that people fall into several distinct groups in terms of how one would respond to another.  Some people will continue to agree with the storyteller, some will ask for clarification because they aren’t sure the storyteller is giving the complete picture to the story, while others will just oppose what the storyteller is saying and not even try to meet in the middle of any understanding.  Another example of the way storytelling, and perspective can seem to go wayward is also found in large groups when a teacher or person of authority is having a discussion in the room with a group and challenges the group to pass on a phrase from one person to another.  The end goal is to see if the original phrase is still in tack upon reaching the last person in the group.  Yes, you are nodding your head on this one, as I’m sure you’ve experienced this, just as I have.  Stories and gossip don’t always end the same way they started.  Is it a matter of perspective, selective hearing or just the nature of storytelling?

    Here’s the pitfall of perspective and when it goes downhill.  One of the best examples I can think of would involve the scenario of a crime.  When the police start interviewing witnesses, what happens?  Each witness is usually viewing the crime at a different angle, different lighting and worse maybe the unfortunate victim of the crime.  The police must take all of those witness stories and verify they are the same.  A lot of times they are not the same because everyone views the crime through another lens, and to be fair, when there is trauma involved, these witnesses may have trouble with the details.  This is also a form of perspective, a natural consequence of an event. 

    Another challenge in getting perspectives to be in alignment is through the paradigm of family issues.  I can say profoundly, my greatest challenge with perspective is with family.  If there is a family drama involving a few people upset with each other the variations coming from relaying the event from one person to another is going to be greatly different.  You may ask why?  The story will be different based on perspective, but also may vary based on the alliances with some family members.  Some people love when there is family drama and tend to pile on more drama making it worse. 

    In social media and Forum websites, perspectives on an issue are often challenged.  You will find the greatest distance in perspectives where people stand on an issue or event, while participating in an online discussion.  Online experiences with polarizing topics, do not always turn out well.  People have forgotten the age-old art of having discussions, debates and challenges of a topic to remain in a respectful order.  The large part of our society has chosen to become bullies and unreasonable in their tactics online, rather then learning to take a breath, remember that there is another person behind that keyboard you are writing too and mostly above all, try to be reasonable.  This is not a duel to the death, this is merely people conversing, sharing ideas and opinions. 

    I can sit in a room with people mostly on my same side of politics or religion and still find that when a topic of discussion is presented, that some of my friends will still respond differently based on their perspective of the topic.  To some extent, expected and normal.  What makes this compelling scenario not normal is when people disagree on the course of the event and believe they are the only ones in its interpretation, their reality, and the room becomes heated.  This is where most people are finding themselves having more issues with perspectives now in 2022, then any other recent decade.  The problem with understanding a story is knowing the truth of the story.  This is where perspective becomes a conflict again with people conversing about an event.  Each person either reads the news only on certain websites, or each person may only watch the news on certain television programs, thereby altering the best end-result in the discussion because there are too many variations of the same story.  I’m not implying we only need one news source or one media source at all, but what I am saying is that in a free society, having the ability to believe the story how you perceive it is important.  To have censorship belies the right of people to determine what they believe took place in the event or sharing their perspective on an issue.  The key is bringing back civil discourse and respect during a clash in perspective.

    How has different perspectives on issues affected your personal or business life.  How did you help to resolve them to a place that everyone had respect for each other’s different perspectives.