My husband and I have different perspectives on more than a few things. Money is one of them. It’s not that we are far apart, but as close as we are, we think differently about its function and use in some ways. If that seems vague to you, that’s because it is.
Perspective is a vague, even nebulous topic. Certainly, two people sitting opposite on another will see different things. It is also true though that people sitting next to one another can see different things too. It’s the same scene, but they might notice a shadow or an object that another person wouldn’t. There might be a few details that they would record differently when asked.
Every person is unique. Every one of us has different DNA, so our physical make up is different. Epigenetics studies those traits passed down to us from parents that have been impacted by their experience –exposure to environmental stressors. Children from the same parents, supposedly brought up in the same way may be very different in many aspects of life.
It’s not just how we look, but how we respond, which genes express, which diseases we are subject to, which foods we like, what kind of activities thrill us, what makes us happy, what motivates us, how we respond to life’s ups and downs, how we relate to people, how we learn, when our bodies change and to what extent, from growth patterns to aging patterns.
Keeping this in mind when looking at news and political commentary or social media just might keep me sane. Opinions are often presented as fact. Worse though, is when complete fabrications end up being spread around as though it were truth by people who maintain a certain perspective.
We, in the US, have so much. So much of everything is available. Even the poorest person can change their circumstances. In some countries, there are no options. It is hard to imagine what it’s like to be in an environment where there is no access to food, clothing, vehicles of any kind, and no businesses to provide jobs.
So, when we contemplate the struggle to keep up with repairs on an old truck or the constant maintenance required to keep our yards neat and tidy here in New England, I wonder what someone in a remote village who walks three miles to get water each day to survive would think. They are no less intelligent, even though they don’t know what we know. We don’t know what they know.
A man or woman living in the desert of Somalia has similar physiology and brain function as anyone. So, they think deeply, discuss situations, and devise solutions to problems. But if they lack anything, it would be tools and opportunity.
How can someone from such a different place possibly think they know what would be best for the other? It’s insanity.
Closer to home, if someone from a rural community trying to solve issues endemic to the inner city, they most definitely can bring a new perspective to the table, but they could not possibly see all that someone living in congested conditions would see. So too, someone from Washington DC cannot possibly have the same understanding as a farmer in Illinois.
We all need one another, but we also need to be aware of our limitations. I don’t know what you know and you don’t know what I know.
Keep calm and keep that in mind.