Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Perspective


Recently I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. She was narrating a situation in which she and her colleague had some disagreement about something. My friend had suggested going to a temple. Her friend wasn’t interested in going to temple and had rejected the idea. Moreover, being an atheist, she made few strong statements on the non-existence of God. My friend who is quite a pious person strongly felt about this. Though she didn’t voice her disagreement openly ,thinking it might affect their working relation, she found me as an outlet for venting her anger on her colleague. “How could she say that God doesn’t exist and that one shouldn’t go to temples”. While, I understood her feeling about being reverent, she was unable to take the feeling that her colleague had mocked at her beliefs. I felt bad for her more for the fact that she was allowing her time to be wasted by thinking about something which had already happened.  More-ever, her friend can't be blamed too, since she believes in the non-existence of God and hence she would justify her own thoughts. My friend wasn’t really convinced with this.

We tend to come across this kind of situation many times. Sometimes, our colleagues, friends behave in a way which is completely unacceptable to us. Irrespective of their behavior being right or wrong, the message which I want to share with others is the concept of considering the perspective of others. At least for the sake for not upsetting yourselves and end up wasting your time by thinking about others. Though, we may think that our view is justified, there is a chance that the other person may be right in someway. In order to substantiate my point, let me take you through a small exercise. Look at the picture shown below very closely and try to see anything you can. Make a note of, what you see in that.




Now, what if I say that there are 2 images in the picture. 1st image which you obviously would have noticed (for those who have identified the 2 images, you made my job easier) and the 2nd, image waiting to be found. The image most of you would have identified is the image of a nice, fashionable lady with a petite nose and wearing a hat and a necklace. The image which would have eluded most of you would be the image of an old woman with a big hook nose and her shawl. [Trying looking at the image more closely for sometime, if you aren’t able to see the 2nd image. The young woman’s chin is the nose of the old woman and young woman’s ear is the old woman’s eye]

This research was done in Harvard Business school. Half of the students were shown the image of the young girl and remaining the old woman image. Then they were called to the classroom and shown the picture. Almost all the students who were shown the image of the young woman saw the young woman in the picture.  And the students who had seen the old lady image saw the image of the old lady. When the class was asked to explain what they had seen, the class started arguing about the image identity, half the class saying that there was a young girl in the picture and the other half claiming it was a old woman.  Finally, only when a student went up to the board and pointed to the drawing saying that it is the woman’s necklace, did another student pointed that it was the old woman’s mouth. Then only the student started calmly discussing the specific points of difference and both groups came to see each others opinion.  This was shown to demonstrate clearly and eloquently that two people can see the same thing and yet disagree, and yet both may be right.  

The general message which I want to share here is the fact that next time you disagree with your Mom or your best friend or your boy/girl friend  or your colleague, Just before raising your own tone and trying to prove your point, take some-time in considering their perspective. You never know that both of you might be true but may be looking at different aspects of the same problem. You may end up winning the battle but may lose the war… Hence, it always helps to ensure that you appreciate other people's viewpoint and look at their point of view and then share your view point to ensure that you not only solve the contention peacefully but also end up becoming a little bit more wiser… 

10 comments:

Destination Infinity said...

The next step of not agreeing with another's perspective is assuming all sorts of things that were never intended. This step is even more dangerous!

Destination Infinity

Anusha said...

A nice take on perspectives and something most of us need too. I agree what you have said and I am one of those persons who take a lot of things to heart and argue and vent to no end about things that had obviously happened and might be right at the other persons end. A post much needed for me at the right time. Thanks.

Aragorn said...

@DI: Very true, Rajesh. Sometimes our imagination creates lots of thing which in reality may not be true.

Aragorn said...

@Anusha: Glad that you found the post useful. yw. :)

Josh said...

Nice!

Josh said...

Nice!

sm said...

we need to learn to respect opinion of others even if they are wrong.

Aragorn said...

@Josh: Thanks for dropping by...

@SM: A noble thought indeed... :)

Destiny said...

Good one....and it really is important to not be too adamant about things...Its always good to know a different point of view.. :)

Aragorn said...

@Destiny: Yes. A little flexibility helps a lot in the long run :)